10 Harsh Realities Of Watching Hocus Pocus 30 Years Later


10 Harsh Realities Of Watching Hocus Pocus 30 Years Later

Disney’s beloved Hocus Pocus is 30 years old, and when rewatching the film today, audiences are sure to be confronted with some harsher realities.


  • Rewatching Hocus Pocus may be uncomfortable as adult themes like virginity and sexual innuendo stand out more now.
  • The Sandersons’ perfectly intact cottage in 1993 seems unlikely, considering their reputation and the Salem history.
  • Hocus Pocus couldn’t pass for a kid’s movie today, which means the unfortunate reality that today’s kids won’t get another movie like it.



Hocus Pocus has celebrated its 30th anniversary, and as audiences go back to this classic for a celebratory rewatch, they may face a few harsh realities. Of course, the 1993 film will always be remembered as a beloved Halloween classic, which still holds up today. The performances from actors like Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy were top-notch, with excellent music and comedy that appealed to audiences of all ages. It’s a film that adults who first watched Hocus Pocus as children are likely to share with their kids. Still, some may also find themselves cringing at certain aspects of the film.

Though Hocus Pocus is a PG-rated kids movie, it pushed this rating to the limit, even for the 1990s. There was a lot for adult audiences to enjoy, which is likely why the film performed so well. Much of the adult-aimed content went right over child audiences’ heads, but 30 years later, these kids are all grown up and watching the film again. Especially today, when children’s content is a little more strictly regulated, adult themes are likely to stand out like a sore thumb upon a rewatch. This, combined with Hocus Pocus‘ scary nature and a few elements that don’t make complete sense, all contribute to the ways this film might feel different on a rewatch.

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10 Hocus Pocus Is Way Too Obsessed With Virginity For A Kids Movie

The Sanderson sisters could only be brought back in Hocus Pocus if a virgin were to light the Black Flame Candle—and the film ensured audiences knew it. Time and time again, the Sanderson curse rules were discussed and joked about, with Max’s virginity at the center of attention in particular. Teenagers and sex are common aspects of adult horror movies, but it was a surprise for the child-focused Hocus Pocus. This went entirely over kids’ heads in the 1990s, but today, it’s a little uncomfortable when rewatching.

9 The Sandersons’ Cottage Being Untouched Is Difficult To Believe


The Sanderson cottage is delightfully spooky, which is why Max, Allison, and Dani ended up there on Halloween to begin with. It’s especially thrilling, considering Hocus Pocus is set in Salem, Massachusetts—a prime tourist location considering the famous witch trials of 1692. Still, this makes it even more unlikely that the sisters’ cottage would still be basically untouched in 1993. When the trio were brought back, all their belongings (including Sarah’s lucky rat tail) were precisely where they had left them. This is one of the few areas where Hocus Pocus 2 made a little more sense since the cottage had been turned into a shop.

8 Max’s Confidence At The Beginning Of Hocus Pocus Is Hard To Watch

Blended image of Max lighting up the Black Candle in Hocus Pocus and the Sanderson sisters smiling in Hocus Pocus 2 (1)

Back in the day, Max seemed pretty cool. He was so confident in himself that he gave a girl his number during class and right in front of the teacher (after having just moved to Salem from LA). Then, throughout the film, he handled the chaos of being chased by witches relatively well. Still, rewatching Hocus Pocus as an adult, it’s hard not to cringe during some of Max’s scenes. His confidence is pretty unrealistic and, at times, a little annoying.

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7 The Sandersons’ Hanging Scene Is Pretty Disturbing

The Sanderson sisters discover a bus in Hocus Pocus

Among the adult themes of Hocus Pocus is the Sanderson sisters’ execution scene. Though bits of comedy were sewn within, it didn’t make seeing the sisters fall, nooses around their necks, any less disturbing. Though only their hanging feet were shown, it didn’t take much for our imaginations to take it from there. This is even worse, considering the sisters had just killed Emily on screen, and the tragically grieving Binx family was included in the execution scene as well. Of course, the creepiness of the moment was all part of the thrill, but it was still a lot, considering Hocus Pocus is a Disney movie.

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6 Sarah’s Seductiveness Is Too Over The Top For Hocus Pocus’ Audience

Sarah Sanderson on her broom in Hocus Pocus

Though they are thoroughly evil, it’s difficult not to love all three Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus. Their wickedness makes them oddly appealing, but there are times when Sarah’s seductiveness is way over the top for a PG-rated Disney movie. She was very clearly meant to be the “sexy” sister and behaved as if she were in a constant state of ecstasy. This certainly contributed to the film’s comedy and is part of why she is a popular favorite among the sisters, but when rewatching all these years later, it’s amazing that this character made it into a children’s movie.

5 Hocus Pocus Is Surprisingly Filled With Sexual Innuendo

Sarah sits on the bus driver's lap on Hocus Pocus (1)

It’s not uncommon even today for a few sexual innuendos to find their way into a kid’s movie, but they are typically more subtle than what is seen in Hocus Pocus. This has a lot to do with Sarah, who, as previously mentioned, was designed to be sexy and seductive. The bus scene especially took this over the top since the driver was clearly hoping to bring Sarah home with him once his shift was over. When the sisters told him they wanted children, he said it might take him a “couple of tries,” but he would do his best. Yeesh!

4 Hocus Pocus’ Satan Scene Is Extremely Creepy


The scene of Hocus Pocus in which the Sanderson sisters find themselves in the home of a man dressed up as Satan was pretty controversial, even back in the 1990s. The trio called the man “Master,” Sarah attempted to seduce him, and Winny perused his house, glorying in his “torture chamber” kitchen. It was a hilarious scene, but anything depicting Devil-worship in a children’s movie will likely raise a few eyebrows. The idea that witches serve satan was not present for the characters in Hocus Pocus 2, where one of the main characters was revealed to be a witch herself, and this was likely for the best.

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3 The Parents In Hocus Pocus Were Pretty Awful


Parents being clueless was a staple of 1990s kids’ movies, but Jenny and Dave Dennison took this to a different level in Hocus Pocus. Of course, they can’t be blamed for their behavior in the latter portion of the film since they were placed under the Sanderson sister’s spell. However, they weren’t much use, even from the beginning. Nowadays, it’s strange to think of kids—even teenagers—being allowed to run around Salem by themselves on Halloween (the city’s busiest day of the year) while their parents head out for a party.

2 Hocus Pocus’ Tone Is All Over The Place

Max, Allison, and Dani in Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus had a lot going on, which makes its tone a little challenging to define. It’s certainly a spooky movie, and for many who were kids in the 1990s, it was a sort of introduction to horror movies. Still, several wholesome elements exist, especially regarding sibling relationships (Emily and Binx, Max and Dani). Then, there is the silly and sometimes raunchy comedy. It seems like the screenwriters weren’t entirely sure what they were going for, but they just rolled with it. This is a little clearer today, where movies fall within specific parameters, especially those for children.

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1 Hocus Pocus Is Far Darker Than The Typical Kids Halloween Movie


Part of what made Hocus Pocus so popular was that it was unabashedly spooky. Other children’s Halloween movies, like Halloweentown (1998), took a far more cute approach to the holiday. It wasn’t common even in the ’90s to watch witches murder a helpless child, worship Satan, and resurrect zombies. Ultimately, such a thing likely wouldn’t fly today, so Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) was considerably more watered down than its predecessor. This makes rewatching Hocus Pocus a little jarring since it’s really an anomaly of the genre. Still, the only harsh reality here is that kids today likely won’t get another movie like it.

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