Halloween Month Movie Review: Hocus Pocus (1993)

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Plot: After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to their reign of terror once and for all.

What better month to finally watch Hocus Pocus? Following news of an imminent and probably unnecessary sequel, combined with the onset of Halloween, I knew I had to finally sit down and watch this favored and loved cult classic. It was a completely different movie than I thought it would be! The acting of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy is amazing and hilarious. Sarah Jessica Parker in particular surprised me. She’s just Carrie Bradshaw in my mind, and I couldn’t see her as something else. Well, as the beautiful, crazy and really damn weird Sarah Anderson she was all the levels of entertaining – such an inspired and crazy performance. The three actresses as the Sanderson sisters work great together; they share symmetry in their movements so accurate it is almost like watching a dance routine. Realizing that Sean Murray – always Timothy McGee in NCIS to me – is the poor Thackery Binx also gave me such delight.

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I really enjoyed the performances by the Sanderson sisters and how ridiculous they were and still so nastily evil, but I did find the story just a bit lacking. There isn’t always too much structure, but even with this flaw I still had a really entertaining time with it. It’s the generic “the youth defeats the evil” storyline, and while you would just love to question everything about it, I suggest you don’t, and watch Bette Midler with really weird dentistry enchant you and make you cackle with glee.

Have you seen Hocus Pocus? Let me know what you thought!

Rating: 6/10

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Blindspot 2016: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

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Plot: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Rating: 9/10

It is the most contradicting of feelings – to like a film so immensely and to be so depressed about it. Pan’s Labyrinth is a heartbreaking fairytale designed for adults, and follows Ophelia, who lives with her new stepfather and ailing pregnant mother in Spain in 1944. The movie is entirely in Spanish, which initially thwarted me, but it makes the film even more melodic and wrenching – there is something so rhythmical about that language. Pan is definitely a film for anyone who loves beautiful cinematography. Ophelia’s (Ivana Baquero) acting makes this film resonate more – she’s a young innocent in a world plagued by violence. The fairytale is extreme – the faun is faintly terrifying and that thing with the eyes will stay with you. Everyone watching this hated the Captain, no doubt about it and we can truthfully admit here that Sergi Lopez did an astounding job bringing this vile and sadistic creature to life. Mercedes is also a great character, a motherly figure that replaces roles that Ophelia’s mother is unable to fulfil. I lived in agony for Mercedes’ safety. I admired her bravery, even when she unfairly labelled herself a coward. Director Guillermo Del Toro is a mastermind – he took a fairytale and brilliantly bought it to life. The only other film that I’ve seen where he’s been the director is Pacific Rim, and how unfortunate is that, considering how good he actually can be? Pan’s Labyrinth is definitely one of my favorite Blindspots this year, and if you haven’t seen this film I cannot stress enough how urgently you should attend to it.

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