Horror is one of the most prolific genres of international film, and Halloween is one of the best times to capitalize on scaring people straight for the rest of their lives. So why, with this high standard of filmic figures of fear, do millennials continually turn to three goofy witches piloted by a Disney script?
“Hocus Pocus” was never destined to be a hit. Critics dismissed it as another lackluster Disney venture to occupy October with thematic significance. And yet, the movie has gained cult status with our generation, and is an integral part of Halloween film culture, running on Disney and ABC Family throughout the month of October.
So what is it that appeals to us so much?
It’s hard to discredit the leads and the talent they exhibit in their roles. For a lot of people, it may have been difficult to see beloved Broadway veteran and songstress Bette Midler in such an unattractive role, but this is really what makes her so fantastic. She steps out of her pretty leading lady status and into the evil of Winnie Sanderson, delivering her lines like the truest of cynics.
Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker ventured into sillier territory and ran with what they were given. While their performances may not have been what critics preferred to see, they breathed life into what could have been a trope characterization of dimwitted witches.
The biggest factor that makes millennials love “Hocus Pocus” is the heart of the story. The same sibling bond that makes us love the Disney mega-hit “Frozen” works in this film through the relationships between Max and his little sister Dani, and also in Thackery Binks and his sister Emily. Unlike most horror movies that consist of primarily gore and jump scares, “Hocus Pocus” offers a heartwarming story to balance out the witches’ outrageousness.
In a world where it feels like violence is everywhere, sometimes it’s nice to just sit back, laugh and feel for once. “Hocus Pocus” is our way to do that.