My favorite Halloween flick of all time. Few movies bring out the childhood nostalgia for millennials quite like Hocus Pocus. The 90s really were the last golden age of cinema. We had Jurassic Park, Titanic, & Disney Anime classics. Movies in those days had heart, they had vision, and they were actual works of art rather than the soulless film-factory products of the modern era. Decades of nepotism and corporate consolidation have destroyed creativity in Hollywood. I feel sad for kids who have to grow up watching such garbage. If you’re a kid reading this, don’t skip on Hocus Pocus. May it bring you the same joy it brought to our generation.
A good comedy contains at least one of two vital ingredients: sharp, swift writing or terrific comic shtick by the actors. Unfortunately, Hocus Pocus -- like most Hollywood comedies these days -- has neither. That doesn't mean it's a terrible movie. It's not, though it loses focus and momentum two-thirds of the way through and limps home with unsurprising special effects. It's just not all that funny. [16 July 1993, p.17]
Apparently too much eye of newt got into the formula for Hocus Pocus, transforming a potentially wicked Bette Midler vehicle into an unholy mess. That's too bad, since Ms. Midler's appearance in a role like the one she has here could have been pure witchcraft.