‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Review: Still Spelling Trouble

by 24USATVSept. 30, 2022, 8 a.m. 22
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In a slight retread of the first film’s plot, “Hocus Pocus 2” follows two present-day Salem teenagers, Becca and Izzy (Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo), who accidentally bring the witchy Sanderson sisters back to life while performing their yearly Halloween night ritual. (The teens’ interest in witchcraft and the occult is benign, a very 2022 detail that might not have come across the same way 30 years ago.) High jinks ensue as the girls race to stop the witches from kidnapping the town’s genial mayor (Tony Hale) and casting an immortality spell that would make them all-powerful, while also making amends with their former friend, the mayor’s daughter, Cassie (Lilia Buckingham).

Anne Fletcher (“Step Up,” “The Proposal”) directs this sequel, but follows the same goofy comedic approach of the Kenny Ortega-directed first film — namely, how the sisters react to modern inventions like robot vacuums, Amazon’s Alexa and Walgreens. Even a few meta-jokes nod to the Sanderson sisters’ popularity in the world of drag. Thankfully, with a cast rounded out by Doug Jones, Hannah Waddingham and Sam Richardson, the brew-haha’s aren’t solely concentrated in the three leads.

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