Movie Reviews - Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas

MegaSoulhero
Girl #1: Hey, girl! Since it’s almost Halloween, we should watch a Halloween movie!
Girl #2: Great idea! I say we choose between these two. Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas since they both had 25th anniversaries this year! Which one do you wanna watch?
Girl #1: Hmm... Let’s watch Hocus Pocus!
Girl #2: I was thinking the same thing!
MegaSoulHero: HOLD IT!! What is wrong with you two!?
Girl #1: Ugh. It’s him again.
Girl #2: What do you want?
MegaSoulHero: Why would you choose to watch Hocus Pocus over Nightmare Before Christmas?
Girl #1: Because it’s the best Halloween movie ever!
MegaSoulHero: NO IT IS NOT!! Hocus Pocus is a TERRIBLE movie and Nightmare Before Christmas is a MASTERPIECE!
Girl #2: Hocus Pocus is a classic!
Girl #1: Yeah! It’s a great movie!
MegaSoulHero: Prepare to eat your words!
Girl #2: I don’t eat.
MegaSoulHero: SILENCE!!!

SPOILERS FOR BOTH OF THESE MOVIES!!!

Hocus Pocus is about 3 witches who come back to life after being dead for 300 years after a virgin lights a black flame candle on Halloween night. His name is Max. And I bring up that he’s a virgin because it’s actually a plot point. It’s up to him, his female crush, and his little sister to stop the witches from wreaking havoc on the town. One of the praises I hear about the film is the Sanderson Sisters. They’re the three witches in the film and people often say they’re the most entertaining characters. Given how bland the rest of the characters are, that isn’t really saying much. Honestly, I can’t stand them. Each of them only have one character trait that they keep on showcasing throughout the film. It’s not funny when we first see it and it’s not funny as it goes on. Sarah Jessica Parker is the one that gets on my nerves the most. She’s always so overly peppy and likes to repeat words. “Amuck! Amuck! Amuck! Amuck!” Bette Midler is a great actress, but her problem is that she’s overacting to the point where it’s hard to take her seriously even when we should be taking her seriously. However, at least they have SOME personality. I can’t say the same for the other characters. They’re all just so one dimensional. Max is the typical teenage hero of the film and, of course, there’s a girl he likes and he wants to impress her and of course they go on an adventure together and they eventually become a couple. It’s so predictable. The girlfriend’s only reason for being there is so Max can try so hard to impress her that he lights the candle. Then there’s the sister. Man, I hate her so much. She’s only there just so she can be annoying and act like a jerk to her brother. She got on my nerves real quick.

There are multiple moments where Max gets made fun of for being a virgin. Why? I mean, he’s a high school student. I’m pretty sure most high school students haven’t lost their virginity. I’m sure there are even some 21 year old college students who are still virgins. Hey, um, will one of you girls...

Girls 1 and 2: NO!!!
MegaSoulHero: Worth a try.

Another problem I have is that there is just too much filler. It seems like they had an idea for a plot, but had trouble coming up with what would happen in between. One scene in particular stood out to me. The kids go up to a man dressed as a cop for Halloween who they think is a real cop and the little sister randomly says “My brother’s a virgin.” Why would he need to know that? Then the “cop” just leans toward Max and says “You’re a virgin?” This entire scene could’ve been cut out. Another scene that didn’t need to be there was the whole scene with the Sanderson Sisters singing I Put A Spell on You. A lot of people love this scene, but it really took me out of the film. I get that they’re supposedly using the song the literally put a spell on the party guests, but it drags on and they could’ve done without it. Also, why didn’t the spell affect the kids? It’s not like they were covering their ears. There’s this one character who gets turned into a black cat at the beginning and has been that way for many years. The thing is, though, he can still talk. Yet, for some reason he chooses not to unless the plot demands it. Not only could he have told his father that he got turned into a cat, he could’ve told Max to not light the candle. This plot hole really bothered me.

The kids are constantly trying to keep the spell book away from the Sanderson Sisters, but there’s one simple solution they didn’t even think to do. Bury the book! I’m surprised that didn’t even come up in conversation. One of them making that suggestion and the other one coming up with an excuse to not do it would’ve at least been something. Then there’s one of the dumbest climaxes in Disney history. They had a chance of defeating the witches when the vile that they were gonna use to take the lives of children was about to smash on the ground. Instead, Max catches it. THAT MAKES NO SENSE!!! He then drinks it because... reasons. I guess that was somehow a better solution than breaking it and maybe catching your sister if Winifred were to drop her. How exactly is this guy the main character?

Hocus Pocus has a lot of problems. The humor is awful, the characters are forgettable, there’s too many plot holes, and there’s WAY too much filler. However, I’m glad it’s something that other people can enjoy as a fun Halloween film. I can kinda see why it has a following. It’s just not something for me. Which is why I’m still gonna give it a pretty low score.

Score: 2/10

Girl #1: So does that mean we can watch it?
MegaSoulHero: Nope!
Girl #2: Why?
MegaSoulHero: Because, like I said, the Nightmare Before Christmas is a much better film to watch.

It is an excellent film about Jack Skellington who is tired of doing the same Halloween stuff he does every year and instead wants to try to celebrate Christmas. Or at least his own take on Christmas. There’s a lot of debate going on about whether this is a Halloween film or a Christmas film. Personally, I see it more as a Christmas film. But whichever it is, it is still a great movie to watch on either holiday. The characters are just so memorable. It’s ironic that we get more emotion and relatability from monsters more than we do with the humans in Hocus Pocus. Jack Skellington’s desire to bring Christmas to Halloweentown makes a lot of sense and they do a great job at showing us his fascination for it. Sure, things don’t work out in the end, but that’s because he’s a Halloween icon, but he’s at least glad he got to try something new. It just goes to show that some people are better at doing some things than others. I always find it funny when he gives the kids a bunch of creepy Christmas gifts. Like the shrunken head. It cracks me up every time. I also really like Sally. She pretty much acts as the voice of reason and is trying to tell Jack that his plan isn’t such a great idea. She cares a lot for him and doesn’t want things to go wrong for him. Of course I also have to talk about Oogie Boogie. Easily, one of Disney’s best villains. Not one that I find absolutely terrifying, but he’s a lot of fun. Ken Page’s performance really makes him such an entertaining character.

The entire movie is done with stop motion animation. Despite being released in 1993, the animation still holds up. It still looks beautiful. Every time I watch it, I find something new to look at. There’s just so much detail that it requires multiple viewings to really see everything. Another great thing about the movie is the songs. There’s “This is Halloween” which starts off the movie in a strong way, there’s “What’s This?” which pretty much introduces Jack to Christmas and pretty much gives us a whole Christmas feel in only the span of 3 minutes, and there’s a bunch of other songs that are just awesome to listen to. Like Oogie Boogie’s song. It let’s us know the kind of villain that he is. If there’s one song that I’d say could’ve been removed from the movie, it’s “Kidnap the Sandy Claws”. It’s a very catchy song and I love listening to it, but it doesn’t really serve a purpose. Other than that, the rest of the songs fit very well.

What more can I say? The Nightmare Before Christmas is a phenomenal film. Excellent animation, great characters, and very memorable songs. This is the movie that people should be watching every Halloween. Or every Christmas since, again, it’s more of a Christmas movie. Either way, it’s MILES better than Hocus Pocus.

Score: 9/10

MegaSoulHero: So, have you made a decision?
Girl #1: Yeah! We’re gonna watch Hocus Pocus.
MegaSoulHero: What!? Why!?
Girl #2: Like you said, Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas movie. So we’re gonna wait and watch it on that holiday.
MegaSoulHero: Ah. Makes sense. If only there was some GOOD form of entertainment that also stars a witch and, coincidentally, also celebrated an anniversary recently. Too bad I can’t think of one at the moment. I’ll let you know this weekend.

Comments

The thing that I hated about Hocus Pocus was the focus on the boy being a virgin - iliekpiez

I would’ve been fine if it was just one little joke in one scene, but they decided to turn it into a plot point for whatever reason. - MegaSoulhero

How do you feel about shrek being rebooted - Trollsfan536

It’s a terrible idea that’s only being done to cash in on the popularity that the movie has developed in recent years. - MegaSoulhero

I don't think the Pinocchio remake will be that bad looking. It will probably look great as Guillermo Del Toro is the director, and previously directed Hellboy 1 & 2 and Pan's Labybrinth is directing it. I am kind of curious about it now - iliekpiez

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