I remember when Hocus Pocus made its way onto VHS tape. We didn’t own a VHS player in our house, so we had to rent one from the local video rental store. The VHS player came in a suitcase and I remember how excited I was to watch the movie again and again. In the 1600s the Sanderson sisters Winnie ( Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy), steal the life force of children to stay alive and young forever. The witches draw a child into their cottage and steal the life force of a young girl, Emily. Emily’s brother Thackery tries to stop them only to be forever transformed into a black cat. The town folk charge the cottage to hang the witches for stealing Emily’s soul, but not before Winnie casts a curse that allows them to be resurrected by a virgin.
300 years later, the town tells lost tales of the three Sanderson sister witches and their evil plot to take children’s souls. The cottage is turned into a museum and gift shop and later closes due to “spooky things happening there.” Max and his family move from Los Angeles to Salem and things are not going well. The parents leave Max and his sister for a town hall Halloween party and Max bumps into his new love interest Allison, on Halloween night. Allison declares that her mother used to run the old witches museum before it closed. Looking for a spooky adventure, a skeptical (of all things Halloween) Max, his sister and Allison enter the old witches’ cottage. Upon entering, they are startled by a black cat and find something very interesting, the black flame candle. The black flame candle is said to raise the spirits of the dead on Halloween night if lit by a virgin. Max, still not believing in all the hocus pocus, lights the candle. The cottage comes to life with lights, the cauldron lights with flames and the three Sanderson sisters walk through the door.
Though Hocus Pocus has plot holes and was not well received by critics, it remains a cult classic and reruns every Halloween season on TV. It has some great scenes and well written dialogue and comedy. Seeing it as a child, the word “virgin” is salted throughout the film. I had no idea what the word meant, and it’s probably one of Disney’s VERY few films not meant for kids. A couple of fantastic scenes are “‘tis a black river” and “What is this contraception? I call it, a bus.”
Another great part about Hocus Pocus is the soundtrack. There is some great score music as well as two of the most well known songs to Hocus Pocus fans; “Come Little Children” and “I Put a Spell On You.” In honor of Hocus Pocus, I have put the Hocus Pocus soundtrack online:
to download it now. Enjoy!