Hocus Pocus


Fantasy elements



[Bette Midler]
Bette Midler as evil witch Winifred Sanderson
A trio of modern kids in Salem accidentally revive three evil witch sisters, hanged 300 years ago, on Hallowe'en, and must then find a way to destroy them before they can become immortal.

This is a surprisingly black comedy, given it's from Disney. Although it has an overly sugary ending, there are some occasions of quite well-done menace and evil to add spice amidst the laughs. Many of these laughs come from the 300-year-old witches' reaction to modern America, which they encounter on a Hallowe'en night knee-deep in costumed trick-or-treaters.

Bette Midler enjoys herself being evil as the lead witch, and gets to perform a memorable version of "I Put a Spell on You" at the local Hallowe'en ball. Sarah Jessica Parker may actually be even better, as her ditzy witch character seems more lovable, until the evil peeks through more shockingly.

Rating: 3.5

[ unmissable | worth watching | passes the time | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 2 November1997