Hocus Pocus (1993)

Directed by Kenny Ortega.  Written by Mick Garris, David Kirschner and Neil Cuthbert.  Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Doug Jones and Sean Murray.

Plot: a boy moves to Salem and accidentally/on purpose awakens three witches.

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In 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, a boy named Thackery Binx (Murray) is turned into a black cat by three witches who’ve just drained the life essence from his little sister.  After that, the witches are executed, but not before the head witch, Winifred (Midler) casts a spell that will resurrect the three of them if a virgin lights their Black Flame candle on Halloween night.

For 300 years, the candle goes untouched as Thackery guards it.  But then Max (Katz) moves to Salem and he’s forced to take his little sister, Dani (Birch) out on Halloween to trick-or-treat.  They run into Allison (Shaw) during the night and the three of them decide to go to the witches’s house.  Although the girls don’t want him to light the candle, Max sort of thinks the whole thing is a joke, so he lights it, and the witches come back.

It’s cat and mouse after that as Max steals Winifred’s spell book and she, along with her sisters Sarah (Parker) and Mary (Najimy) try to get it back so they can continue taking the life essence of more children.

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Basically, this movie is really incredible for when the intense horror gets to be a little too intense.  It’s cute and it ends well, of course, and it’s really family friendly so you can watch it with anyone.

Our score: 72.

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