Sunday, October 1, 2017

What A Clever Little White Witch

Growing up, I feel in love with the movie Hocus Pocus when it came out in 1993.

I was obsessed. I probably wouldn't be the only child of the 90's to say their interest in witchcraft began at Hocus Pocus and was fueled during tumultuous teen year by The Craft.

Imagine my horror when I recently read that Disney wants to remake Hocus Pocus.

I'm not against remakes. I was excited about the new Ghostbusters movie and loved it for the most part. I'm terrified of clowns, but I've heard fantastic things about the new IT movie. I looked forward to the Live remake/revival/whatever of the classic Rocky Horror Picture Show starring Emmy-nominated actress, documentary film producer and prominent equal rights advocate Laverne Cox.

I don't struggle to reimagine and recast classics. I'm not against the idea of continuing franchises a few years into the future. I actually think doing these things is necessary to appeal to younger audiences, though I believe the hotness of ghostly Thackery Binx is pretty timeless. That being said, a Hocus Pocus reimagining feels like a real hard "No, Thank You".

Times have totally changed. All of those Virgin references and jokes that were surprisingly acceptable in the 90's are never, ever going to be put in a Disney movie now. Max cuddling with is pillow before his sister pops out of the closet? It was awkward then, but it would never happen in a Disney movie now. In fact, much of the movie will not be possible with the current child-friendly state of Disney. I mean, how are they going to get away with a hanging scene? The adult references throughout the movie?

Cell phones ruin everything. Watch any movie from the 90's before everyone went through their Nokia phase. Now imagine everyone has a smart phone. Half of the dilemma's posed in the plot lines are magically solved, no witches required.

Do we even have to talk about the rise of helicopter parents? This movie would never take place. Who leaves their kids to wander the streets alone anymore?

Last, but not least, while reimaginings are fun... it's just impossible. While we were all skeptical about a Rocky Horror Reimagining, the truth is that anyone who has ever been to a live performance of RHPS knows that it was made to be reimagined. Like the third Addams' Family movie (which I've never even seen) or the last Home Alone movie, it's hard to sell something that is allegedly a sequel without the original characters having anything to do with it. I don't know that you can do a Hocus Pocus without Bette Midler. I'm sorry, but that woman is an irreplaceable jewel. Kind of like the Heart of the Ocean in Titanic - that movie would have been completely different if the Heart of the Ocean had been a giant engagement ring.

Maybe I'm just being salty, but I'm not ready for Disney to turn Hocus Pocus into a new Halloweentown.

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