The Disney film that became a Halloween classic.
By Madison Sciba
On July 16, 1993, Walt Disney Pictures released Hocus Pocus in theaters. Now, over 30 years later, the film has become almost synonymous with Halloween and this spooky time of year. For many, Hocus Pocus was an essential part of Halloweens growing up. Was it really Halloween if you didn’t watch Max light the black flame candle?
As a child, it seemed as though there was nothing scarier than watching Billy Butcherson’s not-so-dead body rise from the grave and cough up moths. Even to this day that scene can give shivers to anyone with a dislike of scary movies. It was one of the films that children were allowed to watch that was considered “scary.” While it still maintains a PG rating, some scenes, like the witches draining Max’s life force, could be really terrifying for kids.
Directed by Kenny Ortega, the film takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, a historically *bewitching* town. Most known for being the site of the infamous Salem witch trials in the early days of American history. As a result of the film’s success, Salem has become not only a destination for those interested in the witch trials, but also for fans of the film. The town welcomes tourists to come during the Halloween season and see the filming locations from the movie. They also host a variety of themed events and fan meet and greets with the cast.
Even though the original has become a classic Halloween film, the 2022 sequel Hocus Pocus 2 was seen as a bit of a disappointment to fans. With very little of the sequel tying it to the original film, audiences did not have those same nostalgic feelings toward it.
Whether you enjoyed the sequel or not, it is hard to deny that Hocus Pocus has become a tried and true classic Halloween film. It has all the essentials of a good movie for the season: takes place over Halloween, in a historically spooky location (Salem), witches, the undead, and magic. It is no wonder that Hocus Pocus has stood the test of time and continues to be watched by future generations when celebrating Halloween.
Madison Sciba '24,