I put a spell on you, and now you’re mine!
If you’re anything like me and start prepping for Halloween in September, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say you recognize that sentence, complete with melody! Hocus Pocus is not only one of my favorite Halloween movies, but quite possibly one of my favorite movies of all time. Because really what’s not to love – a possessed book, three witches who eat the souls of children so they look young and fresh, and a talking cat!
So if you’re a little rusty with the movie and don’t watch it at least 5 times while it’s on the Disney Channel this season, I’ll catch you up to speed. The three Sanderson sisters Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (shockingly played by SJP) are luring children away from their homes so they can suck the life out of them to remain “beautiful” forever. Except they didn’t account for Thackery Binx! As he comes to try and save his sister – BAM! They turn him into an immortal black cat, sorry Binx this is a no-go for you. Not too long after the killing of Emily comes the angry mob to hang the witches. Unfortunately for the good people of Salem, Winifred casts a spell that if a virgin (shocking) lights their evil black flame candle on Halloween night, they’ll come back! And their little children will be Sanderson snacks.
Binx the immortal cat successfully guards the Sanderson’s house and wards off pesky virgins for the next 300 years or so until cool-guy Max moves from Los Angeles. Cool-guy Max starts crushing on the town’s resident cutie/rich girl/all around awesome Allison, and takes his little sister Dani (yay baby Thora Birch) to Allison’s Halloween party! Dani and Allison chat a bit about the Sanderson sisters and of course cool-guy Max is like I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, and drags them down to the house. He then decides to light the candle! AND BAM! THE WITCHES ARE BACK! COOL-GUY MAX IS ALSO DEMOTED TO LAME-GUY VIRGIN. So the witches try to steal Dani, but Binx the awesome cat shows up and is like not today! They steal the flesh covered spell book and get the hell out of dodge. That book has always freaked me out and it reminds me of the book in the recent Evil Dead remake, but you know, with an eyeball!
So now, let’s flash forward to the cool scene with Billy in the graveyard. Billy was with Winifred til’ she found out he was with her sister on the side. So Winifred poisoned him and sealed his mouth up! Poor Billy! And see the witches can’t actually touch the graveyard because it’s hallowed ground so poor Billy has got to do all the chasing for them. Hijinks ensue and the children yet again get away with the flesh book.
NOW TO THE GOOD PART – I put a spell on you. The Sanderson sisters roll up to a rocking’ Halloween party at town hall and put on a show for all the adults there. Of course Bette Midler takes the stage putting spells on people and whatnot, and cursing them to dance until they die! But then the children outsmart these three witches yet again and trap them in a kiln, leaving them for dead. On a side note, when I was younger I never realized that the witches cursed the dancers to death. In fact I just recently found that out, and I was like wait, really? I swear, the things that go over your head when you’re watching children’s movies!
Unfortunately as it were, the witches didn’t die (although they did catch up on their French, is this where Rob Zombie got the idea about French and Lords of Salem? Maybe?) and then realize they need to start sucking out some children’s souls post haste or they’re going to be dust by the next morning! Back at the Scooby house lame-guy Max is trying to get it on with Allison or whatever and save Binx using the flesh covered evil book. Which is a dumb idea because hi, it’s an evil book. But then the witches find the book, and steal his sister too. Way to go Max!
So then Max goes to save his sister because really he’s the idiot that got her into this mess in the first place. And again we see the theme of BROTHERS WE REALLY LOVE OUR SISTERS because you know Binx and his sister Emily and now Max and Dani. And of course Binx will do anything to get Dani back because he feels guilty for the death of his own sister. Along the way there’s some luring of children due to SJP’s awesome witchy voice, but ultimately the witches want to start with Dani because of stupid Max.
Luckily lame-guy but all around good brother Max arrives in time and saves his sister. Winnie’s feet touch the graveyard and boom! Stone Winifred. The sun comes up and BOOM! FRIED SANDERSON SISTERS. As for Binx, he is released from his curse and gets to die and live with his dead sister in heaven and then move on to a career of NCIS.
So as it turns out this was just a quick Melissa run through of Hocus Pocus, and I’m sure you’ll find it to be very accurate. Make sure you watch it next time it’s on Disney at 3 am. Pay attention to Billy, he’s the coolest. Also – young Thora Birch because Ghost World is awesome. But I love this movie because it’s so campy and will always make me think of eating pumpkin seeds and carving pumpkins with mom when I was a kid. And I don’t think there will be a time when I can’t enjoy this movie anymore. It’s kind of a forever deal.