[Article] HOCUS POCUS 2 & Importance of Sisterhood

[Article] HOCUS POCUS 2 & Importance of Sisterhood
HOCUS POCUS 2 l Disney+
In HOCUS POCUS 2, it’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century Sanderson Sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it’s up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in a global press conference for HOCUS POCUS 2. Moderating the conference was Rachel Smith of Entertainment Tonight. Attending the conference were Bette Midler (“Winifred Sanderson”), Kathy Najimy (“Mary Sanderson”), Doug Jones (“Billy Butcherson”), Sam Richardson (“Gilbert”), Whitney Peak (“Becca”), Belissa Escobedo (“Izzy”), Lilia Buckingham (“Cassie”) along with director Anne Fletcher and producers Adam Shankman and Lynn Harris.

Audiences met the Sanderson Sisters for the first time in 1993 with the release of Hocus Pocus. In the film, the three Sanderson Sisters (played by Midler, Najimy, and Parker), were executed for practicing dark witchcraft. Fast forward to 1993, and Salem newcomer Max, finds himself accidentally breaking a spell that allows the Sanderson Sisters to return for one night. In less than 24 hours, Max and his friends find themselves on a quest to capture the sisters before their lives are extinguished.

[Article] HOCUS POCUS 2 & Importance of Sisterhood
(L-R): Nina Kitchen as Young Mary, Taylor Henderson as Young Winifred, and Juju Brener as Young Sarah

The path to Hocus Pocus 2

Rumors of a Hocus Pocus sequel have made the rounds for as long as I can remember with many wondering if the Sanderson Sisters would ever appear on film again. However, as fate would have it, the Black Flame Candle was lit once more. When speaking on if they thought a sequel would ever come about, actor Bette Midler stated:

“I didn’t until the day finally came. And then I realized, oh, we’re really gonna do this. This was kind of a dream come true, it really was. I mean, I’ve been, I don’t want to say agitating but kind of like after I realized [Hocus Pocus] was a phenomenon, I started asking people around my age and people like that, would you be interested in a sequel? This was a long time ago. This was like 15 years ago, something like that. So here we are.” 

(L-R): Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson

A flop, a flop, a flop

Though the original film was initially a flop, it eventually gained a cult-like status that grew into a massive following. When actor Kathy Najimy was asked why she thought Hocus Pocus had become such a classic, she stated:

“You know, I don’t think that anyone could ever decide that ahead of time or else everybody would make that kind of movie. I think you just make films and you go on to the next one. And however, the audience receives it is always a surprise. So I think there was something in this film, I think, like Wizard of Oz-ish, where the generation shows it to their kids who show it to their kids who show it to their kids. So it becomes part of the fabric of the history of the family. So I don’t think that anyone could ever predict what would be.” 

Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson in HOCUS POCUS 2

Back from the grave

The Sanderson Sisters aren’t the only ones to return from the grave. Billy Butcherson, played by Doug Jones, is back y’all and he’s here to set the record straight once and for all about his relationship with Winifred. When discussing what it was about Billy that has made him a fan favorite, actor Doug Jones explained:

“Probably because I was a zombie before zombies were cool. And I was not a brain-eating zombie. That’s a big difference. I just wanted to go back to sleep. That’s all I want, really. I don’t want to eat anything. I just want to be left alone, really. He kind of matches the energy and the floppiness and the fun and the overdone characters of the sisters.” 

Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson

Hocus Pocus 2 & Sisterhood

As the conference came to a close, Mariana Canhisares from the Brazilian publication, Omelete brought it all home with a question about what these three sisters represent. Midler stated:

“Well, we talked a lot about sisterhood. And we talked a lot about leaning on each other and counting on each other and loyalty to each other. I think in this world, there’s so much going on in this world that we never really realized until maybe the last 25, 30 years, maybe 50 years, things have changed for women, but things have not changed fast enough for women. And I think these three characters are really in a strange and odd way quite positive for women.

First of all, they’re very funny, which women are not allowed to be/are not supposed to be. And they’re intensely loyal to each other, even though their relationships are… It’s a very broad range of emotions that they live through. And, but I think in a funny way, their bond is very, very strong. So in any situation where women are together, a bond of friendship and sisterhood is really, really important.” 

HOCUS POCUS 2 is streaming exclusively on Disney+. For more on the film, check out our review here.

Shannon McGrew
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