The Sanderson Sisters are back, and just in time for Halloween, albeit 29 years after the original movie became an annual fall tradition. Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker have reprised their roles, and are joined by some pretty great new cast additions, including Hannah Waddingham, Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Whitney Peak and more. Anticipation is through the roof ahead of its September 30th release to those with a Disney+ subscription, and the reviews are in to give us a sense of what to expect and see how the sequel ties into the first movie.
First reactions to the Hocus Pocus sequel were overwhelmingly positive, as it seems Winnie, Mary and Sarah Sanderson are summoned back to Salem by three high school students via black flame candle. The witches are hungry for revenge and, presumably, children. So let’s see what the critics are saying, starting with the CinemaBlend review of Hocus Pocus 2. Our own Mike Reyes rates the film 3.5 stars out of 5, saying it doesn’t miss a beat bringing back the magic. While this movie isn’t as dark as the original, it’s just as funny, he says:
Jude Dry of IndieWire grades the film a B-, saying the sequel is satisfying enough for those who rewatch the original Hocus Pocus each fall. The plot and the jokes are basically the same as the first time around, but you really can’t go wrong with the caliber of talent the three stars bring to the screen. The critic says:
Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting rates the sequel 3.5 skulls out of 5, also noting that the Sanderson Sisters aren’t quite as menacing this time around, but they still have that magical touch, and the trio of professionals slip back into these iconic roles easily. More from the review:
Lovia Gyarkye of THR says Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are electric, with their scenes being the most enjoyable in the movie, even though — as other critics have also noted — the characters have been softened. The film struggles a little in how to honor the OG movie while still progressing the story, but the end product is still satisfactory, the writer says:
Maggie Lovitt of Collider gives Hocus Pocus 2 a B+, also noting that the lead trio is an absolute delight to see reunited. The sequel is full of nostalgia, relaying messages about friendship and sisterhood. The critic says:
Brian Truitt of USA TODAY, however, calls the sequel “wretched,” rating it just 1.5 out of 4 stars. He says the Sanderson sisters are more filler than killer in this follow-up, but that the younger trio aren’t given the character development they need either:
If you’ve been looking forward to adding Hocus Pocus 2 to your annual watch list, you don’t have to wait much longer! The sequel is set to hit Disney+ on Friday, September 30. And with October knocking on our doors, check out our list of upcoming horror movies. You can also see what else is coming soon to theaters with our 2022 Movie Release Schedule.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.