Hocus Pocus

Critics Consensus

Harmlessly hokey yet never much more than mediocre, Hocus Pocus is a muddled family-friendly effort that fails to live up to the talents of its impressive cast.



Total Count: 49


Audience Score

User Ratings: 346,134
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Movie Info

The people of Salem capture and execute three witches for practicing witchcraft. Before their deaths, they vow to return to Salem 300 years on Halloween to exact their revenge. Three hundred years later, a skeptical, newly transplanted Californian, Max, explores the ruins of the legendary witches house and dares the witches to manifest themselves. Disregarding the warnings of his sister and girlfriend, Max lights the Candle of Black Flame. With that, the witches reappear to wreak havoc on the town. The kids take off with the witches spellbook. The sorceresses, who will die by the morning light if they don't recite the incantation for immortality, have to get the books by whatever means they can.


Bette Midler
as Winifred Sanderson
Sarah Jessica Parker
as Sarah Sanderson
Kathy Najimy
as Mary Sanderson
Omri Katz
as Max Dennison
Thora Birch
as Dani Dennison
Vinessa Shaw
as Allison
Larry Bagby III
as Ernie (`Ice')
Doug Jones
as Billy Butcherson
Sean Murray
as Thackery
Karyn Malchus
as Headless Billy Butcherson
Norbert Weisser
as Thackery's Father
Penny Marshall
as uncredited cameo
Garry Marshall
as uncredited cameo
Ezra Sutton
as Fireman #2
Don Yesso
as Bus Driver
Leigh Hamilton
as Cop's Girlfriend
Joe Malone
as Singer
Teda Bracci
as Calamity Jane
Jason Marsden
as Thackery Binx
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Critic Reviews for Hocus Pocus

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (33)

Audience Reviews for Hocus Pocus

  • Oct 11, 2016
    Nothing could match up to the charisma and charm of Midler, Parker & Najimy, but that's ultimately all that was going for the film. Hocus Pocus is a fair attempt at a spooky, humorous family film that's filled with inconsistencies. However, there is glimmer in its heartfelt tone and outrageous gags that give it its cult-like following especially during the Halloween season. 3/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2016
    Remarkably and oddly cult-like in approach, a dark Disney flick and a film about a trio of 300 year old witches deserves a way better critical analysis, generally. The acting from the three leading ladies is committed and consistent throughout, particularly from Midler as the matriarchal sorceress Winifred Sanderson. I don't actually know anyone that dislikes Hocus Pocus, especially when watched with family in the dark on Halloween night. Its really a tribute to the holiday of Halloween - my favourite holiday - and its only this and Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat that really convey the exciting spirit of it. It meanders between scary and zany in a heartbeat and its so much fun throughout. It also stars a very young and fresh-faced Thora Birch who avoids the typical "annoying, over-acting Disney kid" archetype thankfully and is great on screen. Vinessa Shaw and Omri Katz also give good performances and manage to not be overshadowed by the witches. Its also jam-packed with detail that adults will enjoy more than children, in fact I'd probably recommend this to older kids and their parents. Definitely a must-watch for Halloween and a nostalgic favourite.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2015
    a talking cat and amusing witching. fun!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Dec 17, 2014
    Not particularly memorable, scary, funny, or quotable. Floppy-haired Omri Katz is very likable as Max, the skeptic protagonist, and young Thora Birch as his sister is impish and adorable. The blossoming friendships between Max, Allison, Dani, and Binx are more compelling than the witchy Halloween lore.
    Alice S Super Reviewer

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