Bette Midler, black cat, Cinema Sins, comedy, Everything Wrong With, halloween, Hocus Pocus, Kathy Najimy, opinion, parody, rant, Sanderson sisters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thackery Binx, witches, youtube
As always, this is a shameless knockoff of “Cinema Sins” and you should check out their vast collection on Youtube. They’re hilarious if you don’t mind nitpicking.
With Halloween nearing, I figured I’d do the movie your parents let you watch when you were too old for “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” but too young for “The Monster Squad”…
In the Time It Takes You to Read This or Less.
Cartoon Witch Shadow flying over the bay is a cartoon.
SIN COUNT: 1
Is it morning or evening at the beginning of this movie? Honestly, I don’t think the filmmakers know. True, a little ways into it Winifred says: “Another glorious morning…”, but it gets darker as time progresses and the villagers bring torches. Plus this is Massachusetts 1693. Everyone would be up by now doing chores, yet Thackery is still in bed.
SIN COUNT: 2
Sarah lands right next to the house and quickly runs by toward the woods. Now while it’s possible Emily was already out of bed and outside before she showed up, that still means Sarah flew out to the ocean from where she lived in the woods, circled around, and then headed back inland to lure Emily back to the woods based on how she flew in during the opening. Maybe “siren songs” need a good approach vector.
SIN COUNT: 3
This character’s name is Thackery. Either that used to be a name or whoever signed his birth certificate had a lisp.
SIN COUNT: 4
Old age makeup is clearly makeup.
SIN COUNT: 5
There’s a waterwheel next to the Sanderson house even though there’s no millstones in their house. It’s purely there just for convenient protagonist entrances.
SIN COUNT: 6
Thackery and the Sanderson sisters have absolutely no problem grabbing what has to be a flesh-searing-hot cauldron and pushing it to and fro.
SIN COUNT: 7
Both Mary and Sarah cry out in agony from Thackery dumping cauldron’s contents onto them, yet not only are neither covered with second-degree burns in a few moments; they’re not even wet. Maybe real witches are the natural opposite of the Wicked Witch of the West and dry things out when they get wet.
SIN COUNT: 8
That’s right, folks. A Disney children’s movie from 1993 killed a kid in the first ten minutes right in front of you. Eat your heart out, “Pinocchio”.
SIN COUNT: 9
SARAH: (Grinning lustfully) Hang him on a hook and…let me play with him…
This is a PG movie.
SIN COUNT: 10
Thackery just saw these three murder his little sister and all he can come up with is a “Hook”-level insult.
SIN COUNT: 11
Ok, there’s a couple things wrong with the townspeople storming the Sanderson house. First is the fact that everyone in Salem clearly knew these three were witches and yet decided to pretty much let them “go on witchcrafting” until they actually claimed an innocent life, while in actual Salem you could pretty much just whisper to someone that a person was a witch and they’d start “firing up the stakes”.
SIN COUNT: 12
Second, the Sandersons seem oblivious to the fact that everyone in town knew they were already witches, but had to have guessed people would start wondering why they were suddenly looking a lot younger, and as a result their plan to be young forever would likely have been sniffed out not long after now.
SIN COUNT: 13
Thackery’s dad expects witch who is going to be hung either way to say what she did to Thackery.
SIN COUNT: 14
How exactly did the people of Salem manage to put these three in a position to hang them? Winifred is an electrokinetic, Sarah is a siren, and even Mary has “durability”. Based on them later in the film, it looks like they probably could have actually fought off the villagers on their own.
SIN COUNT: 15
TEACHER: Poor Thackery Binx… Neither his father, nor mother, nor anyone else ever knew what became of him…
…Except for whoever he told the story to that eventually got passed along to you and became part of the town’s mythos, because you recite exactly what happened to him every year.
SIN COUNT: 16
Regarding this class… Do high school students in Salem, Massachusetts still get a kick out of hearing ghost stories on Halloween? Or is every student in their district required to enroll in half a semester of “Folklore”?
SIN COUNT: 17
(Teacher’s chagrin of Max)
Yeah, you crazy West Coast individuals with your crazy tie-die shirts. That’s certainly worth mocking you over. Next thing you know you’ll try introducing pizza to town…and then you’ll be on a one-way ticket to the nuthouse.
SIN COUNT: 18
(Max’s fake theory behind Halloween and Allison’s response)
Granted, Max’s story about how Halloween came to be is total BS and…well, Allison’s is only slightly better…but does it really merit a round of applause? Is there a town movement in Salem against those West Coasters coming in and pooh-poohing Halloween? I don’t think I’ve seen people promoting “Keep Christ in Christmas” as defensive of a holiday as these people.
SIN COUNT: 19
Dude, giving a girl your number when she doesn’t want it is bad enough. But doing it in the middle of class? You’re kind of a blueprint on how not to get a girlfriend right now.
SIN COUNT: 20
Why did Ernie change his name to “Ice”? Oh…oh, good lord, no…don’t say it’s because he wanted to be “Cool as Ice”. Gah! Reminding me of that movie is worth a sin!
SIN COUNT: 21
MAX’S MOM: Where were his shoes?
MAX’S DAD: Hmm…must be a thing.
Max’s parents must be friends with the King and Queen of Arendelle.
SIN COUNT: 22
(Max cuddles with a full-body pillow)
MAX: Oh Allison…you’re so soft…
This is a PG movie.
SIN COUNT: 23
Dani has been on screen ten seconds and I’m already hoping she doesn’t make it through this movie.
SIN COUNT: 24
Max and Dani’s parents have just moved to town and they’re shoving off their little girl onto their older son for Trick-or-Treating so they can hit up a local Halloween party that runs late. I take back what I said earlier…even the “Arendelles” think these two are bad parents.
SIN COUNT: 25
MAX’S DAD: (Seeing Max dressed to hide his face) Well Max, what are you supposed to be?
MAX: (Deadpan) …A rap singer.
MAX’S DAD: Oh? Shouldn’t you have your hat on sideways?
SIN COUNT: 26
Look, I know there are miscreants who run around every Halloween smashing pumpkins, teepeeing houses, egging cars, etc….but in the real world they’re never dumb enough to congregate in large groups in well-lit, well-ventured areas for the police to pick up…and kids aren’t dumb enough to walk right up to them to get their candy stolen.
SIN COUNT: 27
Ha, ha! This new kid is so pathetic and laughter-worthy for going trick-or-treating! All the cool kids steal candy from third graders!
SIN COUNT: 28
DANI: You should have punched him.
MAX: They would have killed me!
DANI: At least you would have died a man.
Movie, if Dani makes it through this alive, I hope you don’t expect me to be happy about it.
SIN COUNT: 29
MAX AND DANI (Poking their heads in the doorway of the mansion): Trick or Treat?
Trick-or-Treaters in Los Angeles are renown for actually opening the doors to houses themselves while trick-or-treating and, if no one immediately answers, immediately invite themselves in.
SIN COUNT: 30
DANI: Max likes your yabos. In fact…he loves them.
Let me just say if my own little sister had ever done anything like this to me, I wouldn’t have had a little sister very long.
SIN COUNT: 31
Witch-hating 1600s Salemites killed the Sanderson sisters but carefully preserved and maintained not only their house but everything inside of it as well as the ingredients for their potions for 300 years, even knowing that some of the things came from the devil himself, instead of burning the entire place to the ground. Unless you’re trying to tell me all of their personal effects were also “protected by magic”.
SIN COUNT: 32
(Rack of still-working Zippo lighters)
You know the first thing being in a historical landmark in Salem, Massachusetts makes me think of? Gosh, I need a drag…but, curses, I left my lighter at home!
SIN COUNT: 33
ALLISON: (Reading from a plaque) The book is bound in human skin…
Discount Necronomicon Ex Mortis.
SIN COUNT: 34
Even assuming the people of Salem didn’t believe in anything about the Sanderson sisters coming back to life…which they seem to believe right up until the point at which they actually do come back to life, at which point they scoff as much as Max did at the beginning of the film…putting lighters and an uncovered candle in a historical landmark is just begging some tourist to come and light it up just to be cute.
SIN COUNT: 35
Binx makes his first of many, many repeated mistakes in the film in which simply saying something while a cat would be more than enough to command the full attention of nearby humans or drive them off in terror; instead electing to “be a cat”.
SIN COUNT: 36
Disney didn’t want to use or imply any real witchcraft in the film, so, in the laziest way to resurrect someone ever, someone lights a candle.
SIN COUNT: 37
So plumbing for the fire extinguishing system was installed in the house at one point, and yet everything else remained undisturbed? Right down to Sarah’s “lucky rat tail”?
SIN COUNT: 38
WINIFRED (Taunting): It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!
Wait, Winifred was still “dead” when Max said that line. Was she aware of things that transpired on Earth while she was dead? In that case, why is she so oblivious to everything else in the modern world?
SIN COUNT: 39
Later we find out Billy actually hates Winifred, yet he spends the bulk of the movie doing what she says regardless. Don’t say it was because he wanted to get a knife from Max to open his mouth and tell Winifred off because he doesn’t even know Max has a knife until almost the end of the film, and it’s not like Max’s knife is the only sharp object in the entire city of Salem.
SIN COUNT: 40
BUS DRIVER: To convey gorgeous creatures such as yourselves to your most forbidden desires.
WINIFRED: We desire…children.
BUS DRIVER: It might take me a couple of tries but I don’t think that’ll be a problem.
This is still a PG movie.
SIN COUNT: 41
(After Binx gets crushed)
MAX: It’s all my fault…
Uh…how? For not going out of the manhole first and dying instead?
SIN COUNT: 42
KID DRESSED AS ANGEL (To Sandersons): Bless you!
(Sandersons scream in horror)
Ah, the traditional “Evil Guys Are So Evil Doing Anything Nice To Them Repulses Them” cliche. Made popular by Gargamel and Skeletor.
SIN COUNT: 43
Between the Sanderson’s inability to tell that blacktop is not water, that these aren’t real flames in front of this house, that this old guy really isn’t Satan, and that these plastic curlers aren’t really snakes…I’m starting to wonder if these witches are experiencing culture shock at all or are just nearsighted.
SIN COUNT: 44
FAKE COP: …Are you a virgin?
FAKE COP: Really.
MAX: …Look, I’ll get it tattooed on my forehead, ok?!
Looking at the rating…yes, STILL PG. Gosh, modern kids are lightweights.
SIN COUNT: 45
Also, way to go not saying a single word that entire exchange, Binx. If we were trying to convince people you were just a cat and we’re pulling a prank, we’d totally be “winning” right now. Since we’re trying to do the opposite, however, you’re a moron and I’m blaming the Sandersons being revived more on you than Max.
SIN COUNT: 46
NEAT BROOMS KID: Wow! Neat brooms!
First off, I’m not being funny. That kid is listed in the credits as “Neat Brooms Kid”. Second, apparently Trick-or-Treaters on the East Coast can take whatever Halloween props you don’t chain down outside your house for their own.
SIN COUNT: 47
WOMAN: Take your Clark bars and get out of my house!
Want to know what the cheapest product placement candy in the world was in 1993? Well…now you know.
SIN COUNT: 48
(Mary gets disgusted on biting into the Clark candy bar)
We’ve seen the Sandersons have no problem eating insects and both raw and decayed human flesh, yet they get grossed out by candy. Even taking into account the whole “hate nice things” cliche, these three have no taste buds.
SIN COUNT: 49
MAX’S DAD: (In Bela Lugosi voice about Allison) Who could this charming blood-donor be?
Dad-Not-So-Secretly-Loves-It-When-Sees-Son-Land-A-Hot-Girl Cliche. Even brain-dead dads like this one.
SIN COUNT: 50
(Max getting on stage and making his proclamation)
Seriously, the way in which Max says this, I’m surprised they had that brief moment where the audience was shocked and then turned to laughing. The whole deal looks like he’s setting up for a musical number even knowing what’s really going on.
SIN COUNT: 51
At this point, Kenny Ortega was floundering so he quickly put in a music video to get his confidence back from being in “familiar territory”.
SIN COUNT: 52
I’d just like to take a moment to say that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are clearly trying as hard as they can and having a lot of fun to make this movie passable…and that’s commendable. One sin off.
SIN COUNT: 51
Allison knocks open an old oven and gets the idea to burn the witches from it. That’s…rather disturbing.
SIN COUNT: 52
WINIFRED: (About school) It is a prison for children…
There’s no way Winifred knows what a public school looks like or its purpose, and if she did she’d know there’s no children in it at this time of night.
SIN COUNT: 53
Our protagonists just locked the witches in an oven and roasted them alive…something the filmmakers weren’t ballsy enough to do even in the part of the movie set in 1693. And the rating is, you guessed it, PG.
SIN COUNT: 54
Infernal book emits a wavelength of light only visible to witches. Kind of weird when it could have just “levitated” back to Winifred earlier like it tried to.
SIN COUNT: 55
Why would infernal book contain a page outlining a way to stop infernal magic contained inside of it? That’s kind of like that troll book in “Ernest Scared Stupid” that tells you how to kill trolls on one page.
SIN COUNT: 56
(Binx jumps on the book to close it)
Apparently, the book also emits an auditory frequency cats can hear.
SIN COUNT: 57
Movie spends most of its time making witches goofy and dim-witted to spend last 20 minutes making them actually malevolent and menacing.
SIN COUNT: 58
Book can levitate itself, but can’t open own cover to zap protagonists with fireballs.
SIN COUNT: 59
(When the witches blow up the top of Max’s house)
Witch brooms are capable of generating explosive force on takeoff.
SIN COUNT: 60
SARAH (Singing): Come little children…I’ll take thee away…
Discount Kaa. Disney animated version, of course.
SIN COUNT: 61
I understand the Sandersons may have kidnapped Dani because they get “more life” from a younger child, but why Binx? To rub in his failure?
SIN COUNT: 62
BINX: Dani! Don’t drink it!
SIN COUNT: 63
Max doesn’t take a second to snuff out the Black Flame Candle, now knowing it’s the source of the witches’ life, and finish them off in this scene.
SIN COUNT: 64
(Shot of Allison whistling furiously and gesturing to the car)
…What is Allison doing in this shot? Nothing useful, that’s for damn sure.
SIN COUNT: 65
WINIFRED: (Regarding the last of the potion) This is just perfect for that little brat!
SARAH: We have a child.
MARY: And look, Winnie! More children are coming!
So basically the whole reason the witches don’t win in this movie comes down to sheer stupidity. All Winifred had to do was give the potion to Jay or Ernie and they would have lived long enough to make more potion to drain the lives out of the rest of the children of Salem, but because Winifred had to kill Dani first for calling her ugly, they fail. Witches are petty.
SIN COUNT: 66
WINIFRED (Grabbing for Max): Pull over! Let me see yer driver’s permit!
In only a few hours, Winifred has not only learned modern police colloquialisms but has also mastered a Brooklyn accent.
SIN COUNT: 67
Seriously, how did Billy get here after getting lost hours ago? Did he just return to the cemetery and circle it hoping the protagonists would return?
SIN COUNT: 68
MAX (After drinking the potion): Now you have no choice! You have to take me!
Actually, nothing’s stopping Winifred from killing Dani first then going after you, especially since the whole reason she hasn’t already “won” is her obsession with killing Dani for calling her ugly.
SIN COUNT: 69
Also, rather than simply sucking the life out of Max closer to ground level, Winifred wastes time yanking him into the air first.
SIN COUNT: 70
Slow-acting hallowed ground. Winifred is touching it for about 20 seconds or more before she turns into stone.
SIN COUNT: 71
Billy didn’t immediately fall down dead again after Winifred died.
SIN COUNT: 72
EMILY: Thackery Binx, what took thee so long?
THACKERY: Sorry, Emily. I had to wait 300 years for a virgin to light a candle.
One, that’s actually kind of pathetic sounding when you say it like that. Two, “thee” aside, ghost Emily knows modern colloquialisms. Three, could you have not lit the candle yourself on any day besides Halloween, had it melt down, and that would have stopped the curse right there?
SIN COUNT: 73
Pretty sure at least one of these adults would be dead after dancing for a good eight hours straight.
SIN COUNT: 74
(Ending scene of book opening its eye)
…Yeah, except for the fact that the only reason Thackery didn’t die long ago was because there was still the chance the witches could be revived, and once that possibility was removed he was able to die, so pointless “ending creep” is pointless.
SIN COUNT: 75
FINAL COUNT: 75
SENTENCE: HIGH SCHOOL HELL (“Oh, I’ve been there! I found it quite lovely!”)
(Scene of the Sandersons entrancing the townsfolk at the Halloween party singing “I Put a Spell on You”)
DAZZLINGS (V.O., Singing): Whoa-oh-oh! Whoa-oh-oh!
ADIAGO (V.O., Singing): Now that you’re under our spell…
(Scene of the Sandersons getting shoved into the high school kiln and incinerated)
SIR BEDAVEIR (V.O.): What do we burn?
VILLAGERS (V.O.): WITCHES!
SIR BEDAVEIR (V.O.): What do we burn besides witches?
VILLAGER (V.O.): More witches!