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The Salem witch sisters are back for a straight-to-streamer reunion this week with the release of “Hocus Pocus 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 1993 cult classic. The reboot arrives on Disney+ on Friday, Sept. 30.
Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as the Sanderson sisters in the reboot, nearly three decades after their fabulously flamboyant performances turned what was expected to be a typical comedy with fleeting success into a campy cult favorite that has become a Halloween staple for millions across the country.
In the new film, director Anne Fletcher offers viewers an origin story for the Salem sisters who feel misunderstood and “ahead of their time” until they’re finally bequeathed the spell book that enables all the antics in the original film. The bulk of the film, however, is set hundreds of years later when the Sanderson sisters rise from the dead to face off against two young girls who attempt to stop the witches from becoming immortal before the sun rises — a modern take on the same narrative that runs through the first film.
“One senses all involved trying to re-create the earlier film’s sense of camp,” writes Variety film critic Peter DeBruge in his review. “’Hocus Pocus 2′ is actually the better made film, even if it amounts to little more than a stealth remake, with strategic decisions about the present-day and old-Salem witch trios being engineered to allow for more sequels, whether or not its star trio return.”
Stream “Hocus Pocus 2” on Disney+ below: