They’re Back!

by Madelyn Young '25 on October 9, 2022
A&E Staff

Arts & Entertainment

Hocus Pocus 2 Filmed in Providence 

After 29 years, Disney’s beloved Halloween classic has finally gotten its sequel—and it was filmed right here in Providence. Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker reprised their iconic roles as Sarah, Mary, and Winifred Sanderson and give a performance just as amazing as they did in 1993. 

While Hocus Pocus 2 is different from its original in many ways, it stays true to the famous moments fans have come to love from the original. The movie follows three teenage girls trying to defeat the witches after they come back to wreak havoc on Salem. Not only have the three leads returned, but some other classic characters like Billy Butcherson have as well. And if you loved the Sanderson Sisters’ rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” from the first movie, you will be glad to know that there is another amazing musical number in the sequel. 

Even though the movie is set in Salem, MA, it was filmed right here in Rhode Island. Chase Farm in Lincoln was home to not only the witches’ original house, but an entire colonial village. Here, we see the witches in 1653 as teenagers and learn the story of how they were banished from Salem and became witches. 

Providence College students might recognize some of the locations used for filming. The high school scenes took place at La Salle Academy and the witches explore a local Walgreens at the beginning of the movie. 

As the first Hocus Pocus has become arguably one of the most well-known Halloween movies since its release, Hocus Pocus 2 had a lot to live up to. The original is known for its incredible soundtrack, timeless humor, and iconic lines that are quoted constantly throughout the season. The witches and their schemes provided a humorous aspect, while the relationships between the other main characters gave the movie more of an emotional side. 

In the sequel, the viewers get a glimpse of the sisterly relationship between Sarah, Mary, and Winifred, which doesn’t take away from their hilarious antics, but rather provides the characters with much more dimension. In many ways, the heart-warming sibling relationships between Max and Dani as well as Emily and Binx in the first movie are paralleled by the witches 30 years later.

While Hocus Pocus 2 did meet (and even exceed) expectations in terms of choreography, music, and costumes, it is difficult to measure up to such an influential original. Viewers should think of it truly as a sequel—a continuation of the witches’ stories and mission—rather than a new movie to replace the first. Additionally, the movie hinted at a third return of the witches in the future, implying that the three witches might not be finished tormenting Salem. 

For Hocus Pocus lovers, the sequel will be a great addition to a Halloween movie lineup. The music, magic, and mischief of the Sanderson sisters are sure to put you in the mood for autumn. 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

by The Cowl Editor on October 28, 2021

Arts & Entertainment

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Hocus Pocus 2 Begins Filming in Rhode Island

Olivia Riportella ’25

Get ready, Friartown, because spooky season is here. While Rhode Island always offers a number of eerie festivities to get people in the Halloween spirit, this year brings a unique way for locals to get in the spooky mood: the iconic 1993 film Hocus Pocus has begun filming a sequel at La Salle Academy in Providence, RI.

According to the Providence Journal, shoots for the production began as recently as Monday, Oct. 18. Cameras could be seen rolling on the grounds of La Salle as well as inside the building, even during the school day. Many extras in the film are being played by Rhode Island locals. 

Governor Dan McKee has weighed in on the film, saying that he is “proud and honored” that “our beautiful state, with its unique scenery, landscapes, and local talent, will be the backdrop for a major motion picture.” The production of the sequel is expected to help boost Rhode Island’s economy, which suffered a hard hit during the pandemic.

The Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, Steven Feinberg, also spoke enthusiastically about the production, stating: “We are very excited to welcome Disney and their talented team to the Ocean State to create the next chapter of the popular and highly anticipated sequel, Hocus Pocus 2.” 

He added, “We are particularly grateful to Walt Disney Productions for providing good paying jobs for many local artists and hard-working technicians from across Rhode Island. Collaboration is key to the art of cinema and we look forward to helping the Hocus Pocus 2 team produce movie magic here in the Ocean State!”

News of a sequel to the beloved movie has created much anticipation among fans and the public at large. Indeed, with iconic actresses Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy returning to the big screen in their havoc-wreaking roles of the witchy Sanderson sisters, the expectations for Hocus Pocus 2 are incredibly high. 

This time around, the Sanderson witches are accidentally brought back into present-day Salem by three young women. The movie will portray the girls attempting to stop the child-hungry sisters and their mayhem. The director of the new film is Anne Fletcher, who announced that she is “so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life.” She explained, “Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film.”

Details about the film are still being kept under wraps, but fans hope to find out more as production continues. Hocus Pocus 2 will continue filming in RI at locations in Providence and Lincoln until the end of the year, and is expected to make its much-anticipated debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2022.