Thursday, 5 January 2012

Hocus Pocus: Utter Magic

With the phenomenon of the Harry Potter franchise, it easy to forget of all the other films before it that were magical and fantastical. There were witches and children in trouble before Voldemort and Hermione, and we loved them long before J. K. Rowling's astounding books were published. One of these treasures was Disney's Hocus Pocus.
It is a sad fact that as we grow older, some films we adored as children aren't as good when watched as an adult. But I didn't find that with Hocus Pocus. It was just as magical, funny and captivating as it had ever been, perhaps even more so because of it's charm.
Although a family adventure/comedy, where the witches are given some hilarious lines, the Sanderson sisters remain terrifying. Their old, spooky house, and quest for eternal life by sucking the life out of children really gives you the chills, and as an adult, I found it more disturbing.
The Sanderson witch sisters are what you would call, classic, PROPER witches. They have long nails, old fashioned clothing made of rags and corsets, and all have a quirkyness that is quite scary. Bette Midler plays the leader and is on top form in this role, Kathy Najimy is brilliantly funny and incompetent, whilst a young Sarah Jessica Parker is like a siren, singing a lullaby to entice children to their deaths, and looks absolutely beautiful. Regardless of their surroundings, whether it be Puritan Salem during the 1600s (at least that's what the film says) or near the end of the 20th Century, they are just as scary and superb, and put all other film witches, to shame.
The child actors all play their part in the film well, you really get behind Max (Omri Katz) who is too cool for school at the beginning of the film, but proves himself a true hero, and a great brother. However the person who steals the show is Dani, played by a very young Thora Birch. She is the one you remember in this film, she shows true acting talent and massive potential, and seems to have already developed her own style in this film, that can be seen in her outstanding performance in American Beauty. There is also an adorable cat who helps the children try and stop the witches called Binx, voiced by Sean Murray.
However, a massive applause must go to the make-up artists, costume and set designers, directors, musicians, and everyone who worked on the film, to create a believable Halloween film that involves  children trying to stop witches back from the dead.
Hocus Pocus is a family classic, that everyone of every age will love: it has many hilarious scenes with memorable characters like two imbeciles who can't stop saying 'dude', and a solid story that keeps you hooked for the entire feature. Don't forget this classic.

1 comment:

  1. I remember having a crush on Sarah Jessica Parker after watching this film. As for Thora Birch, her joke about Vanessa Shaw's curves is even funnier now, since she has quite the figure herself! :)