With so many classic films getting a sequel, it was only a matter of time before Hocus Pocus 2 would join the ranks of sequels. Heading directly to streaming on Disney+, the first teaser trailer for Hocus Pocus 2 has been released, which is very different from the original 1993 film.
After years of rumors and hopes, Hocus Pocus 2 was officially announced in 2019, and it turned out that three of the original cast were performing their roles. The sequel will take place not in a remake, but in our days, 29 years after the events of the original film. The Sanderson sisters—Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Nagimi) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker)—are back, and hell will have to pay for it. The teaser trailer for Hocus Pocus 2 shows how the witches return to the land of the living, and two teenagers light a candle with a black flame, unknowingly putting Salem in danger. While the trailer suggests that the story will follow the same storylines as its predecessor, “Hocus Pocus 2” is also different from the original film.
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The biggest difference between Hocus Pocus and its sequel is that Hocus Pocus 2 seems darker. The first film was quite light, despite the fact that it was about three witches returning to wreak havoc in Salem and its youth. Even the way the Sanderson sisters return—with teenage girls casting some kind of spell in the woods-is more like a horror story about witches. Of course, the main advantage of “Hocus Pocus” was its carefree charm. The Sanderson sisters were a threat to Max, Allison and Dani, but there were a lot of silly jokes that made him less scary and more fun than anything else. “Hocus Pocus 2” still looks like it’s going to be funny too, but there seems to be a little more of a scary edge to what’s going on, including the visual palette of the movie. The fact that Hocus Pocus 2 is a little scarier and darker than the first movie is not bad. Sequels are always better if they are not an exact copy of their predecessors.
Also, it’s been almost three decades since Hocus Pocus was released, and changing things up will be refreshing. Although it’s ultimately unclear if Hocus Pocus 2 will retain that darker tone or if it’s just being used for marketing purposes. The difference may also be that the director of “Hocus Pocus 2” was not Kenny Ortega (“Cool Musical”, “Julie and the Ghosts”), but Ann Fletcher. Ortega has made a career as a director of light and funny films, including the original Disney Channel movie “The Heirs”. However, Fletcher has also directed comedies, including “The Proposal” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, so “Hocus Pocus 2” probably won’t be so dark as to avoid a younger audience.
Aside from the tone, the teaser trailer still feels familiar in the sense that it resembles moments from the original film, including the Sanderson sisters taking the stage for a performance and a black cat (although it’s unclear if it’s Binks). The story will probably follow the same structure as the original, with the teens working to prevent the witches from sucking the youth out of the children of Salem (although the sequel was filmed in Rhode Island). Whatever changes are made to update “Hocus Pocus 2” and make it different from the first movie, the sequel will undoubtedly retain its entertainment value.