There are so many aspects of this film that stand out to me. It begins where a boy named Thackary is looking for his younger sister, Emily. He finds her being cursed by three witches, Winifred, Mary, and Sarah. They turn Thackary into an immortal black cat, but are then executed by the community shortly after.
Three hundred years have passed (which surprised me) and the focus is now on a teenage boy, named Max, in his history class at school. He doesn’t believe in having fun during Halloween. But after he has to take his eight-year-old sister, Dani, trick-or-treating, the two, plus Max’s new girlfriend, Allison, go into a haunted house… where they accidentally revive the three witches. They then plan to break the curse and defeat the witches.
I found Max to be very believable, especially since he moved to a new town from Los Angeles and really missed his old home. The bullies who picked on him made me feel even more sorry for him.
However, at some point, the bullies were in danger, and Max wouldn’t save them, which was irresponsible. Just because someone is not nice to you, that doesn’t mean you can leave them in peril.
That being said, Max was a good guy. Although he resisted taking Dani out to trick-or-treat at first, and she even screamed about it at some point (which was also irresponsible and could have misled her parents into thinking she was getting hurt), he did it and showed loving care with her as the movie progressed. He also dressed as a “rapper.”
Speaking of loving care, I also adored how Dani developed strong feelings for Thackary in his cat form. She even held him while sleeping and fed him cat food.
During the part where Thackary passed lost his life, and his last sound was a meow, he returned to Dani in his human form as a ghost and comforted her. I also wondered if Max, Dani, and, Allison, would trouble with their parents.
Yet, after the witches have been revived and are performing at the Halloween bash Max and Dani’s parents attend, Max, Allison, and Dani tried to tell them that the witches have been resurrected and are dangerous. But the mom and dad didn’t believe them, which I didn’t expect.
In fact, everybody found the children crazy when they attempted to warn them about the witches. Even a bus driver acted casually with the sorceresses when encountering them.
Even though this is just a movie, I found it odd that the witches were able to function okay in modern times after being dead for centuries. They should have been confused like crazy.
Another flaw is how they broke into Max’s school and no one caught them. Yes, it was 1993, when school security was likely more relaxed. But shouldn’t there have been surveillance cameras or even a guard?
When Max, Allison, and Dani celebrated the witches’ “deaths,” I figured that it was the midpoint and knew that they hadn’t really been defeated. This was based on how I studied story structure for years and past movie-viewing experiences.
A couple of moments that also shocked me were when Max was willing to sacrifice himself for Dani when the witches tried to jinx her with a potion, and a clueless zombie who had no idea what to do, didn’t attack anyone.
I have to admit, the zombie who didn’t know much felt more credible to me. It also satisfied me since it was a way to stray away from the traditional approach for zombies, where they’re scary and try to eat peoples’ brains.
I rate “Hocus Pocus” 4 out of 5 stars.