Gather round, scaredy cats! These films bring the spirit of Halloween to life — without the horror, the screams or the gore. Us Weekly rounds up 10 beloved movies to watch this season that won’t scare you senseless, from the bizarre ways of The Addams Family to the funny antics of Hocus Pocus.
A spooky Halloween staple, Hocus Pocus focuses on new Salem resident Max Dennison (Omri Katz), who, along with his little sister Dani (Thora Birch) – and his crush, Allison(Vinessa Shaw) — lights the black flame candle, unknowingly freeing a trio of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) from the dead in the process.
The Sanderson sisters are on a mission to suck the lives out of the children of Salem in hopes of living forever. Max, with the help of his friends — including cat Thackery Binx (voiced by Jason Marsden) and friendly zombie Billy (Doug Jones) —must find a way to defeat the witches before sunrise or all hope is lost.
While initially a box office flop after its debut in 1993, Hocus Pocus eventually became a family-friendly cult classic, with fans demanding it expand its franchise over the past three decades.
“I heard it’s going to be fabulous,” Midler joked to Us Weekly about a potential sequel in October 2019. “I hope they hire me because I want to fly again in the worst way.”
In May 2020, Parker revealed that the three leading ladies were “hospitable” to the idea of a follow-up film in the future.
“I think for a long time, people were talking about it as if people were moving forward with it in a real way but we were unaware of it,” the Sex and the City actress told Bruce Buzz on Sirius XM’s Quarantined with Bruce at the time. “I think now we’ve gotten to the point where we all, like, agreed publicly to the right people, [saying], ‘Yes! That would be a very, very fun idea.’ So, we’ll see. We’ll see what the future holds.”
One year later, Disney+ announced that the Sanderson sisters would haunt the night sky once again. “Sistaaaahs! It’s been 300 years… But we’re BACK! 🧹 #HocusPocus2 arrives Fall 2022 on @DisneyPlus,” Midler confirmed via Instagram at the time.
The sequel premiered in September 2022 on the streaming platform — just in time for spooky season — and viewers flocked to social media to praise the newest installment of the witchy trio.
While it took Hocus Pocus nearly 30 years to craft a sequel, not all Halloween movies wait quite as long to return for a second go-round. The Addams Family — starring Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd and Raul Julia — returned for Addams Family Values just two years after the first movie debuted in 1991. Netflix is also set to premiere a brand generation of Addams hijinks in November 2022, with Tim Burton’s Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega.
Disney’s Halloweentown, meanwhile, spawned four follow-ups after it premiered in 1998: Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge in 2001, Halloweentown High in 2004 and Return to Halloweentown in 2006.
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