Hocus Pocus 2

It has been twenty nine long years, but the highly anticipated sequel to 1993’s cult classic Hocus Pocus is finally here!

Every year on Halloween, which just so happens to be Becca’s (Whitney Peak) birthday, she gets together with her best friends Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) in the woods to practice magic. This year is just Becca and Izzy, however, since Cassie recently got herself a boyfriend (Froy Gutierrez) and a whole new group of friends. But when a spell goes wrong, the legendary Sanderson sisters are brought back to modern day Salem and all hell breaks loose.

I’ll admit that I am new to the Hocus Pocus fandom. I saw the original movie for the first time about two years ago, fell instantly in love and never looked back. I eagerly wait every year so that I can watch it again. Learning that I could finally experience all that I missed out on with the sequel had me more than excited – I just hoped it would live up to my expectations.

The storyline was entertaining enough with the stakes being raised higher than ever before. Getting to see Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) reunite was a dream come true. They were up to their old hijinks once more complete with some great musical numbers and comedic moments that had me laughing out loud.

What I wasn’t expecting was the slightly more emotional tone that this movie had. With the importance of one’s coven at the forefront, I loved seeing the Sanderson sisters’ background story. The sisterhood between Becca, Izzy and Cassie was also nice to experience, especially as they had a lot of similarities with our favorite witches. I wasn’t sure what to think about these new characters, but they worked well here. I also liked the addition of magic shop owner Gilbert (Sam Richardson), the mayor (Tony Hale) and, of course, the return of Billy Butcherson (Doug Jones).

I truly believe that fans of the original Hocus Pocus movie will have a blast watching this new story unfold. It is one of the better sequels that I have seen in a long time, and certainly considering the fact that it came out so long after the original.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Senior Year

Everyone knows Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice). Popular, smart, head of the cheerleading squad and dating the hottest guy in school, she is a shoe in for Prom Queen. But when a cheerleading stunt goes terribly wrong at the school pep rally, she falls into a coma. Twenty years later, Steph (Rebel Wilson) wakes up to a whole new world. Believing she cannot move on with her life, she decides to go back to high school to claim that prom title once and for all.

Like many of the films Netflix puts out, my expectations are never very high. I had to learn that the hard way. Maybe that’s why I ended up liking Senior Year as much as I did. It was exactly the type of movie I needed to indulge in this weekend.

The best part of the whole thing was the soundtrack. I was immediately transported back to the early 2000s with all the songs I used to love listening to on repeat. Who else still remembers the lyrics to Sk8er Boi and Candy? Each scene was perfectly paired with a nostalgic throwback that, paired together with the timeless butterfly clips and bell bottoms, made my heart soar.

Another positive came about with the movie’s humor. Rebel Wilson is known for her comedic chops and this was no different. After discussing it with my husband, we decided that she is the female Ryan Reynolds as she tends to play herself, but that’s all part of her charm. Thanks to the rest of the cast, the laughs kept coming.

I had no idea there would be so many familiar faces here. Mary Holland as Steph’s best friend Martha was a great addition whereas Sam Richardson as Seth and Zoë Chao as Tiffany threw me back to when they starred in The After Party together. There was also heartthrob Justin Hartley who portrayed Steph’s ex boyfriend Blaine and Chris Parnell who starred as her dad Jim.

Senior Year is one of those movies where you know exactly what you are signing up for. You may also know how it is going to end. That still doesn’t stand in the way of you smiling, laughing and enjoying yourself anyway.

Rating: ♥♥♥