Disclaimer: Spoiling of the movie and its plot lies ahead 

To start off the spooky Halloween season this year, a sequel to the beloved Hocus Pocus came out on Sept 30. The Sanderson Sisters from the original film were brought back and are the main source of humor, fun and enjoyment during this new film. Following a similar plot to the original, three teenagers awaken the witches and then work together to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc on their world. Despite its best efforts, Hocus Pocus 2 does not compare to the original film, but still continues the iconic sisters’ reign in an amusing way. 

The plot of the movie follows main characters, Becca, who happens to be an aspiring witch, and Izzy who unlocks the witches on Halloween night as they follow Becca’s birthday tradition. Every year for Becca’s birthday, Izzy, Cassie, their former best friend, who is now too popular to engage with them, conduct a magical ritual in what they failed to recognize as a sacred place for witches. The child-hungry Sanderson sisters return to wreak havoc on Becca’s 16th birthday, because of  her seemingly harmless birthday tradition. The rest of the movie unfolds when the  girls’ attempt to get rid of the witches from Salem and save their world. While making a similar connection to the first movie, The plot of this one is a little too similar. Both plots include three girls trying to get rid of the witches, so nothing was really that surprising. Despite the similarities, the plot is still easy to follow and is ultimately a great family friendly movie. While being similar, the plot is still interesting and the movie will surely become a classic Halloween sequel to the first film. 

Along with the similar plot, Hocus Pocus 2 lacks true character development from the first movie. While the Sanderson Sisters continue to add main sources of humor to the film, they’re not truly developed in a way that evolves or elevates their character to make it different from the first one. Going deeper into the Sanderson Sisters character, it is evident that there has been a change in perception of them just as there has been a change in the perception of the Salem Witch Trials. A sentiment expressed in the film’s opening and shared by Gilbert, the town’s foremost authority on Sanderson sisters, is that witches are misunderstood women cast aside by society because they are different. An opportunity was missed to discuss the trials and how the Sanderson sisters became who they are. The film fails to go into depth on this main subject and doesn’t elaborate on expressing the true humanity of the witches. Although the film is driven by the characters, it fails to bring out their qualities in any significant way, compared to the first film. The attempt to soften the villains is not done well, and should not have been attempted. However, even though the characters are hollow, it does not take away from the fun, spooky and humorous aspects that the movie does entail. 

There is no doubt that the Sanderson sisters contribute to the main source of humor during the movie. Still following the same  slapstick magic comedy from the first film, Winnie roars operatic statements while Mary over analyses the details and Sarah misunderstands the general point. The silly musical theatrics the witches perform adds to the humor and helps lighten the movie. The core trio of the Sanderson sisters does not disappoint and the actresses really embody their role throughout the film. Although the script seems to fail the witches, they clearly do their best to play up the jokes. The same charm and charisma of the first film is not matched by the sequel, but it does its best to compete. The witches are still delightful and their silly witch’s “costumes” still remain iconic, as seen throughout the first film. 

Overall, the movie is light and fun with the three witches adding to the main source of entertainment. Hocus Pocus 2 is worth the watch despite its lack of character development and similarity  to the plot of the first film. This  film still demonstrates the importance of sisterhood with a sweet and sentimental ending that keeps the sisters together forever as well as the three best friends. Hocus Pocus 2 will become a Halloween classic and will continue to draw viewers back to the Sanderson sisters and their legacy with each watch. While Hocus Pocus 2 does not compare to the first, the spirit of Halloween is still very much alive throughout this charming sequel and comedic characters.