After their teasing video over the weekend, Disney has updated the synopsis for their upcoming Hocus Pocus 2, and while it does reveal a little more about the plot of the long awaited return of the Sanderson sisters, it also may prove a little underwhelming. Filming on the movie has been underway for the last two weeks, and while there has been no sign of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy on set yet, there have been plenty of behind the scenes images released thanks to local news coverage and residents of Rhode Island who have been getting handy with a camera in the area.
According to Disney’s newly released synopsis, “It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters who were executed for practicing witchcraft, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to figure out how to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before midnight on All Hallow’s Eve.”
Like I said, it may not be a lot to go on, but it does raise a couple of points of note that at least answer one question being asked by fans: a timeline. As the synopsis says, the sequel takes place in a real-time scenario, time-jumping 29 years from 1993’s Hocus Pocus and finding the three witches resurrected again in an even more modern setting than their previous outing. The issue with this becomes that fact that so few of the original Hocus Pocus cast are involved, as other than the three female headliners and the now confirmed return of Doug Jones, it looks like no one else has even been approached to star in the film. With it incorporating an almost three decade gap, it would have seemed a no-brainer to take this down the “legacy sequel” route on a full scale and continue the storyline of the 1993 hit.
However that brings us to the other takeaway from the synopsis reveal, the fact that we appear to be getting an “if it ain’t broke, just rehash it” sequel. The plot sounds pretty much identical to the first movie, in which three youngsters were responsible for summoning and then defeating the Sandersons before midnight on Halloween. This time around we have three high school students in place of Max, Allison and Dani, but we are still very much in the territory of three kids accidentally revive the sisters and then have until Midnight to banish them…again.
After a wait of almost thirty years, it seems a little bit of a hard brush off and probably explains why the film is heading direct to Disney+ and not having a theatrical run. The movie will certainly please hardcore fans who have grown up with Hocus Pocus as a go to Halloween classic, and could well bring some newcomers to the party, but on the whole, while the fine details in the middle may different, it is clear that Hocus Pocus 2 is bringing a carbon copy of its predecessor, even down to a 17th century village flashback as recent set photos have shown.