Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Movie Countdown: Hocus Pocus

     I know it's completely ridiculous that I am just now throwing out a mini Halloween Movie Countdown for this season, but I figured, "why not post about at least two or three?" Anyway I thought I'd first bring up my all-time favorite this time since it's the film's 20th anniversary: Hocus Pocus.

     Need I say anything more? Hocus Pocus is without a doubt my ultimate, nostalgic, and festive Halloween go-to movie. This film is definitely one for my generation, but I think most can agree that it's silliness still contains enough charm, sense of adventure, and overall "spookery" that will appeal to all.

    Hocus Pocus is a classic Disney holiday film. Charm, humor, sometimes far-fetched or complicated plot-lines (particularly when dealing with the supernatural), and let's not forget the festive and fun set dressing. All of these factors make for a great and silly Halloween adventure directed by the talented Kenny Ortega and starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

    One of my other favorite actors in the film is Doug Jones who plays Billy Butcherson. I love his performance and look so much that I even dressed up as him for Halloween in 2009. Not only have I always loved Billy's character design, but Doug Jones' performance really stood out to me as a young kid as I was afraid of all things scary... especially decapitation. The whole concept freaked me out more than anything, but when Billy lost his head, it was funny. And not the kind of cheesy funny we always see in family films trying to mix magic or the supernatural with humor. Doug Jones had some real talent. I guess you could say it was one of the first times I noticed true comedy (brought on by the great performance) being mixed with horror and spookiness- dark comedy- from then on, I was inspired.

    Another first brought on by Hocus Pocus was finding out about the Salem witch trials. Of course, the film depicts the tragedy as just kind of a... bummer, as most Disney films tend to do when it comes to tragedy. I quickly found out, of course, that the trials were a much bigger deal and a huge part of American history. To this day, it is still, out of the many historical events that interest me, the one that peaks my interest the most. I have read several books on the subject and continue to research more information, mostly because it inspires a lot of my writing, but also I guess you could say I'm just naturally curious about it, probably all thanks to Hocus Pocus.

    Thackery Binx was also a character I truly loved in the film, mostly because I had a black cat, when I was little. We called her Bagura, from The Jungle Book. She was chubby black cat with a knack for hunting anything and everything. She was probably also the reason I loved (and still do) Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I guess I just wished the my own black cat would speak like those in my favorite spooky movies and shows.

    Hocus Pocus is truly a Halloween classic, a must-watch every year. Obviously, I have a major nostalgic attachment to it, but regardless, anyone can see that the film is filled with Halloween spirit, great atmosphere, and a story filled with adventure, humor, and Halloween fun!

I Put a Spell On You!

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