Yeah, that’s right. Until October 29th, 2022, I’d never seen Hocus Pocus. And now I can’t unsee it. Come on in, I guess we need to talk about it.
I don’t even know where to start with this one. So I’ll start here: fuck this movie. If you’ve seen Hocus Pocus and talked about it within my earshot, then you’ve liked it, because I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about this movie. Which is bullshit, because there’s almost nothing BUT bad things about this movie.
Let’s start with the most troubling and uncomfortable aspect of this movie: the blatant sexualization of teenagers. Yes, teenagers are often sexual. Yes, that is a valid aspect of human life that can be, and has been, explored in films with artistic and narrative excellence. But the number of times the dialogue refers to virgins and a little girl talks knowingly about sex in this movie started to feel super weird, like they were going well out of their way to work it in. Sure, in an adult movie about magic, that might fit. Sex magic was a real practice, and probably still is to some degree. But in what is essentially a live action cartoon, it came across as fucking creepy. And not in a fun Halloween way. More of a “show me on the doll where the defendant touched you” kind of way.
I can already hear defenders of this film calling out that it was a product of its time. Well, guess what. SO AM I. So I can tell you that tired old excuse you’re peddling is pure bullshit. This movie came out in 1993, the year I graduated from high school, and I can remember those times very well. Creeping on underage girls was considered just as problematic then as it is now. Maybe we were less apt to point it out when we saw it in entertainment, but in a Disney movie meant for a young audience, it feels like the writers and director went well out of their way to have children talk about sex… a lot. It’s not cool now, and it wasn’t cool then.
Speaking of sexualization, let’s talk about the broom dance scene starring Sarah Jessica Parker’s boobs. In a Disney film made for children, with no adult male lead, where she was one of the three main cast members, all of whom were women, they somehow still managed to make her a sex object. That’s almost impressive. She wasn’t there to be a witch, she was there to be a walking porn fantasy. The broom dance was the single most blatant breast exposure scene I have ever seen in a film, including films where breasts are actually exposed. She was writhing and bent over so far that she literally could not get any closer to the broom handle. It’s clear the only point of that was to show as much of her breasts as possible without actually releasing them from her clothes. It didn’t even look like normal human movement. It was so awkward. I mean, back in the day I had a Sarah Jessica Parker crush just like everyone else. It’s impossible to watch Flight Of The Navigator and L.A. Story in the same lifetime and not fall for her at least a little. And, yeah, her boobs look great, I’m not going to pretend otherwise. But this is a fucking kids movie. It made it so weird.
If there is one thing I can give this movie credit for it is set design. The sets, particularly the witches’ cabin, were incredible. I mean, Disney movies have always been notable for great set work, but this was outstanding. Every Halloween visual you can imagine was stuffed into this cottage, but it never looked overcrowded, and it never looked artificial.
This movie didn’t make me hate Halloween, but it sure tried. For the rest of my life, Halloween will forever be marred by the experience of these images and noises being bounced off my retinas and eardrums. I hate this fucking movie. The writing, the acting, the music, the humor, the special effects, all of it. All of it was trash. Thoroughly fucking terrible. I thought I knew how bad this was going to be, but I had no idea. 2 out of 10. I’d rather watch Halloween Ends on repeat for twenty-four straight hours than sit through this shit again.