Hocus Pocus Is 20 Years Old Today, Your Childhood Is Ancient


Hocus Pocusyou remember the cult classic, a virgin boy lights a candle on Halloween accidentally awaking three witches from Salem, Massachusetts, impeccably portrayed by Bette Midler (Goddess), Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

Strangely enough, Hocus Pocus, was critically panned when it first came out but over the last twenty years has become a cult hit. The movie was just too ahead of its time. No, really, it was. The blithe, mean-spirited sense of humor of the three witches is well-suited to the egocentric, yet self-depracating wit of our generation. You know, it’s all the same reasons we think Mean Girls is funny when it’s merely a portrayal of self-centered, high school girls. We get it. It’s the way we refer to ourselves as divas, goddesses, as flawless, when we know that, well, no one is perfect (except me).

Bette Midler’s shut-a-basic-bitch-down attitude was not well-received, worst of all critics thought the only appeal the movie would have to young audiences is its “special effects.” Sarah Jessica Parker’s satirical portrayal of a youth obsessed, vain beauty queen, not far from the critically acclaimed character Ja’mie, was not praised enough at the time.

Entertainment Weekly’s Ty Burr gave the film a C-, saying, “[It’s] acceptable scary-silly kid fodder that adults will find only mildly insulting. Unless they’re Bette Midler fans. In which case it’s depressing as hell. [Najimy and Parker] have their moments of ramshackle comic inspiration, and the passable special effects should keep younger campers transfixed […] the sight of the Divine Miss M. mugging her way through a cheesy supernatural kiddie comedy is, to say the least, dispiriting.”

Ugh, you just didn’t get it. Some people don’t get camp, characters who are comically self-centered or why it’s ok that a film this epic is suited for adults and kids because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Something do just get better with age.

Emerald is an editor at CollegeCandy, lover of coffee, and pretend francophile. After studying writing and popular culture at NYU she decided to be a grownup and get a job. Tweet at ya' girl @EmeraldGritty.
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