New Halloween Movie Gets Mixed Reviews From Fans

Disney’s “Hocus Pocus 2” is relying on millennial nostalgia for success. However, it seems like that may not be enough for some reviewers many calling the movie a big miss.

The original 1993 film was a box office bust, but over time became a cult classic and is now considered one of the quintessential Halloween movies. Now almost three decades later, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy returned to portray the wicked Sanderson sisters once more.

Rotten Tomatoes says, “It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.”

However, some reviewers claim the hyped reboot, which was released on Disney+ on September 30, doesn’t live up to the original.

New York Post reviewer Johnny Oleksinski called the original “a very bad movie.” He didn’t much care for the sequel either. Oleksinski said that the sequel is “also awful to the core, but charmless and too low stakes to keep our interest.”

Oleksinski notes that the “through-line of feminism and the power of sisterhood, which would make sense if this was ‘The Crucible,’ but these are supposed to be real witches who murder children to maintain their youthfulness. Not quite fodder for a redemption story.”

His final verdict is that the movie is “lousy, lame millennial nostalgia bait.”

The Irish Times had said the same thing. “The insistent life lessons about sisterly bonding will drive the most saintly among us to satanic practices. When shall we three meet again? With all due respect to Midler and company, how about never?” that reviewer shared.

The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee was a little more sympathetic and blamed the flaws on the curse of the sequel. “Like many fan favorite follow-ups, ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ is stuck, trapped somewhere between different times, audiences and tones, trying to do so much yet, in this instance, achieving so very little,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Lee contradicts the Post reviewer. He argues that the three witches aren’t evil enough this time around.

“While the first film began with the three witches sucking the life out of a small child, this one sets them up as radical girlbosses (they are later referred to as ‘ahead of their time’ and ‘misunderstood’), a strangely miscalculated softening (notably not a single child is murdered this time around),” Lee writes. “Is it bad to want baddies to still be … bad?”

Not all the critics hated the remake. The movie currently has a 64% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a slightly better audience rating at 74%.

“Hocus Pocus” is available now on Disney+.

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