Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American Halloween comedy horror film directed by Kenny Ortega. The movie follows the story of the Sanderson sisters, who are resurrected by a teenager named Max Dennison on Halloween night. Hocus Pocus was released on July 16, 1993, and grossed over $39 million at the worldwide box office. In 2018, the movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Hocus Pocus is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! In honor of this special occasion, we’re taking a look back at the making of the film and some fun facts about this Halloween classic.
What is Hocus Pocus?
Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American Halloween fantasy comedy horror film directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris. The film stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of witches who are resurrected by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. The film was released on July 16, 1993, by Walt Disney Pictures, and grossed $39 million worldwide against its $28 million budget.
The plot follows teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz), who moves from California to Salem with his family just before Halloween. On his first day at school, he meets Allison (Vinessa Shaw), the new girl in town who tells him about the Sanderson sisters, three witches who were hanged in 1693 for practicing witchcraft. Max is skeptical at first but decides to go along with Allison’s story when she takes him to see the witch’s cottage where the sisters lived.
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That night, Max and Allison accidentally revive the witches with a spell from one of the sister’s books of spells. The witches take them captive and prepare to sacrifice them to complete their Satanic ritual and gain immortality. However, they are ultimately thwarted by Max’s little sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their cat Thackeray (Jason Marsden). The film ends with the witches being turned into stone statues as they try to escape Salem.
The Different Types of Hocus Pocus
Hocus pocus is a term used to describe various types of magic or sorcery. The word hocus is derived from the Latin hoc est (this is), and pocus is a corruption of the Latin word focus (fire).
Hocus pocus originally referred to a type of light hearted, comic magic trick. The phrase was later used in 17th century England as a nonsensical filler words in children’s rhymes and songs. It wasn’t until the 19th century that hocus pocus came to be associated with serious magic or witchcraft.
Today, hocus pocus is often used as a catch-all term for any kind of magical or supernatural element in fiction. If something can’t be easily explained, it may be dismissed as “just hocus pocus.”
Pros and Cons of Hocus Pocus
The first Hocus Pocus movie came out in 1993 and was an instant cult classic. The movie tells the story of three witches who are resurrected on Halloween night and cause havoc in the town of Salem. The movie is filled with humor, nostalgia, and some truly incredible performances by its cast.
While the movie is beloved by many, there are also some people who are not fans of Hocus Pocus. In fact, some people believe that the movie is actually quite problematic. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Hocus Pocus:
-The movie is hilarious and has amazing quotable lines
-The cast is phenomenal, especially Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson
-The movie has great 80s/90s nostalgia
-It’s a perfect film to watch during Halloween season
-Some people find the jokes about witch hunts to be insensitive given the history of actual witch hunts that resulted in many innocent people being killed
-The portrayal of witches in the film could be seen as stereotypical and offensive to some viewers
-Winifred Sanderson’s sexual harassment of Max could make some viewers uncomfortable
What Foods to Eat on Hocus Pocus?
In order to have a successful Hocus Pocus party, you need to have the right foods! Here are some ideas for what to serve:
-Pumpkin spice everything! Cookies, cakes, lattes- you can’t go wrong with pumpkin flavor during this time of year.
-Candy apples! A classic fall treat that will get everyone in the Halloween spirit.
-A variety of Halloween themed snacks and finger foods. Think skeleton shaped crackers, witch finger pretzels, or mummified hot dogs wrapped in pre-made croissant dough.
-For drinks, go with festive fall favorites like apple cider or pumpkin beer. Or make a special punch using orange and black candy melts as ice cubes!
Hocus Pocus Recipes
- Hocus Pocus Recipes:
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Hocus Pocus, we’ve rounded up 25 of our favorite recipes inspired by the film. From spellbinding cocktails to bewitching desserts, these spooky treats are sure to cast a spell on your Halloween party guests.
- The Original Witch’s Brew:
This wicked cocktail is the perfect way to toast to 25 years of Hocus Pocus. Made with vodka, rum, and dry ice, it’s sure to give your party guests a fright.
- Sanderson Sisters Sangria:
This festive sangria is perfect for any Halloween party. It’s made with red wine, orange juice, and plenty of autumnal spices. Serve it in a cauldron for an extra-spooky touch!
- Binx’s Butterfinger Bars:
These delicious bars are named after one of our favorite characters from Hocus Pocus, Binx the black cat. They’re made with a buttery shortbread crust, chocolate chips, and of course, plenty of crushed Butterfingers.
Alternatives to Hocus Pocus
In the 1993 Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, three witch sisters are resurrected in modern day Salem and wreak havoc on the town. The movie has become a cult favorite among Halloween lovers, but what if you’re not a fan of witches? Here are some alternatives to Hocus Pocus that will get you in the Halloween spirit without any witchy nonsense.
If you’re looking for a truly scary movie to watch on Halloween, look no further than John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween. This movie about a deranged killer stalking babysitters is considered one of the best horror films ever made. If you want something a little lighter, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a perfect choice. This stop-motion animated film follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, as he attempts to take over Christmas.
For something more family friendly, try Disney’s 1953 animation classic The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. This film tells the story of two friends, one a horse named Mr. Toad and the other a mouse named Ichabod Crane. They go on many adventures together, including battling with a group of weasels who want to steal Mr. Toad’s beloved car.
If you’re looking for something funny this Halloween, check out Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. This 1974 comedy spoofs Mary Shelley’s classic novel by following Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), grandson of the original Victor Frankenstein, as heAttempts to create
It’s hard to believe that Hocus Pocus is already 25 years old! The cult classic has become a Halloween staple for many families, and its popularity only seems to be growing. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the film’s anniversary, there are plenty of options out there. From watching the movie itself to attending special screenings and events, there’s something for everyone. So gather your friends and get ready to celebrate all things Hocus Pocus.