It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Hocus Pocus" is a film desperately in need of self-discipline.
It's one of those projects where you imagine everyone laughing and applauding each other after every scene, because they're so convinced they're wild and crazy guys. But watching the movie is like attending a party you weren't invited to, and where you don't know anybody, and they're all in on a joke but won't explain it to you.
The plot involves three witches who are hanged in Salem, Mass., 300 years ago, and their bodies are placed under a curse. At the same time, under conditions too bothersome to explain, a young boy is turned into an immortal cat. Flash forward 300 years, as the witches are resurrected at Halloween time in present-day America, and the cat is still hanging around, and modern characters including cute little Dani (Thora Birch) and Max (Omri Katz) become targets of the witches' wrath.
The movie is filled with special effects, lots of them, as the witches fly around on brooms and vacuum cleaners, and the cat develops the ability to speak. But the effects, the characters and the plot are all tossed into a confusing cauldron in which there is great activity but little progress, and a lot of hysterical shrieking.
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