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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Never too old for some Hocus Pocus

Published: December 1, 2006
Section: Arts, Etc.

Just so you know, I cant play poker. Not that Im bad at it or anything like that. I just dont have the patience for it. So instead of actually playing poker on poker night, I usually sit in the oversized chair in front of the television, which is specifically reserved just for me.

As I flip through the channels, I notice Hocus Pocus is on in fifteen minutes. Yes, Hocus Pocus. That loveable yet creepy movie from the early 1990s about three witches terrorizing Salem, Massachusetts. As I wait for the movie to start, everyone keeps asking,

What movie are you watching this time?

Its a surprise, I simply respond.

When the movie started, my counterparts (five 20-something year old guys, may I add) were unable to pay attention to their poker game, because the Sanderson sisters were back.

For those of you who havent seen it, Hocus Pocus is about the three Sanderson sisters named Winnie, Sarah and Mary, played by Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, respectively. On one fateful day in the 1690s, the witches lure a young girl, Emily Binx, to their cottage and attempt to suck the life out of her in front of her brother, Zachary Binx. Yet, Zachary is unable to stop the three witches, who take the young girls life before turning her brother into an immortal cat. Because of the death of Emily Binx, the townspeople hung the three sisters, after the eldest, Winnie, casts a spell, which says that someone will bring the sisters back to life on All Hallows Eve.

The movie picks up 300 years later, focusing on Max Dennison, played by Omri Katz, a new student in Salem. After a ten minute typical teenage rant with his parents, consisting of You ruined my life!, Max is forced to take his little sister Dani, played by Thora Birch (yes, the girl from American Beauty), trick-or-treating. Max and Dani stumble upon Allisons house, played by Vinessa Shaw, a classmate and crush of Maxs. In order to impress her, Max insists that that the three go to the Sanderson house. When arriving at the house, Max lights the Black Flamed candle, the candle which will supposedly bring the sisters back to life. Consequently for Max, Allison and Dani, the witches reappear, and threaten to suck the lives out of all the children in Salem before sunrise, or else they will turn to dust.

The audience is thrown into a chaotic Halloween filled with costumes, candy and some awoken spirits. Even though it isnt Halloween, this movie is enjoyable year round. And, if you have seen this movie, youre never too old for some magic.