Hocus Pocus (1993)

There aren’t a lot of movies that are as much fun and rewatchable as “Hocus Pocus.” It’s one of those rare movies where everything goes right: Director Kenny Ortega has a knack with atmosphere and tone while the cast is perfectly tailored to the material, all of which is underlined by Peter E. Berger’s fluid editing and John Debney’s effective score (not to mention terrific use of music throughout, including a deliriously entertaining mid-movie cover of “I Put a Spell on You” by Bette Midler that re-energizes the plot). The story is fairly simple without being reductive, and Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert’s endearing screenplay is brought to life by a trio of superior performances by Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and a scene-stealing Kathy Najimy. It’s one of the few Halloween-themed movies that’s just as entertaining and charming any time of the year, and only seems to get better with time thanks to a combination of its above-average qualities and the glossy sheen of nostalgia.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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