The Sisters of Salem Return: A Hocus Pocus 2 Comparison


Kenzie Herrick, Contributing Writer

The Sanderson Sisters return this year for a bewitching sequel to the 1993 classic, Hocus Pocus.  

The original film takes place in a ’90s version of Salem, Massachusetts. Viewers follow new kid on the block, Max (aka “Hollywood”), and his younger sister, Dani, as they say goodbye to California and hello to their new accursed town. It’s here that Max falls for a local beauty, Allison, while simultaneously reincarnating the 300-year-old demonic witch sisters…way to go “Hollywood”.  

A comedic and drama-fueled witch hunt ensues as protagonists Max, Dani, and Allison race against the clock to stop the Sanderson Sisters from capturing more child souls before the sun rises and sends them to the afterlife.  

Surprisingly…Hocus Pocus 2 doesn’t stray too far from the story’s original plot. It’s now 2022 and a group of high schoolers makes up the new protagonists in this modern Salem spin. The trio consists of Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo), and Cassie (Lila Buckingham). While many fans were expecting a new plot, Hocus Pocus 2 plays more like a Disney Original remake of the first film, rather than an enchanting sequel. The sisters are accidentally reincarnated once again, and they must be stopped before it’s too late.  

Diving into the nitty gritty on how they compare- it’s a fun watch, but not a great sequel. While it was incredibly entertaining seeing the Sanderson Sisters perform a cover of One Way Or Another, interact with Tony Hale’s hilarious mayor character, and gawk at the modern tech they encountered- it just wasn’t the same.  

While Winnie (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) return to the screen as the sisters- fans fail to see any reference to Max, Allison, or Dani from the original. Even though fans do get a nostalgic return of Winnie’s undead fling, Billy Butcherson, it’s merely a comical side plot.  

Director, Anne Fletcher, leaned heavily on the comedy and left out much of the endearing drama found in the Kenny Ortega original. The first film gave viewers graveyard battles and Halloween parties, while the second film gave viewers a Walgreens and Roombas.  

However, the final scene with Winnie and her sisters is one to give any fan the eye sweats. As the powerful witches pass on their powers to a younger generation in a slurry of sparkling dust; fans say goodbye to the Sanderson sisters for good in this 2022 sequel. 

Hocus Pocus 2 is out now and available only on Disney+.