Review: ‘Hocus Pocus 2,’ starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy

September 29, 2022

by Carla Hay

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker in “Hocus Pocus 2” (Photo by Matt Kennedy/Disney Enterprises Inc.)

“Hocus Pocus 2”

Directed by Anne Fletcher

Culture Representation: Taking place in Salem, Massachusetts, the fantasy comedy film “Hocus Pocus 2” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some Latinos and African Americans) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: In this sequel to “Hocus Pocus,” the Sanderson witch sisters return to wreak more havoc on Salem. 

Culture Audience: “Hocus Pocus 2” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s main stars and the original 1993 “Hocus Pocus” movie, but fans should keep their expectations low, since “Hocus Pocus 2” delivers a very forgettable and middling story.

Belissa Escobedo, Whitney Peak and Lilia Buckingham in “Hocus Pocus 2” (Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises Inc.)

The magic of a classic film is missing from “Hocus Pocus 2,” which lacks much of the charm and adventure of 1993’s “Hocus Pocus” movie. The chase scenes are tepid, the performances are inferior to the original movie, and the witches show no real danger to the kids. “Hocus Pocus 2” plays out like a lazily conceived TV special (including annoying sitcom-ish music) instead of a cinematic event, which is why “Hocus Pocus 2” was released directly to Disney+ instead of movie theaters first.

Directed by Anne Fletcher, “Hocus Pocus 2” suffers from sequel-itis: when a sequel doesn’t do anything to improve on the original project. Because it took 29 years to release a sequel to “Hocus Pocus,” this sequel-itis problem is harder to forgive for “Hocus Pocus 2,” because there’s been plenty of time to come up with better ideas for a follow-up to “Hocus Pocus.” The more experienced cast members of “Hocus Pocus 2” perform better than the less-experienced cast members, but that’s not saying much when the movie’s unimaginative screenplay from Jen D’Angelo drags the movie down a lackluster and frequently boring path.

The original “Hocus Pocus” movie is not a great film, but it gained a cult following and has since become a Halloween classic for a lot of people, just like 1983’s “A Christmas Story” (another mediocre movie) gained a cult following and became a beloved Christmas film for a lot of movie viewers. The story in “Hocus Pocus 2” gets distracted by a lot of teen angst about who is and who isn’t in certain cliques in high school. “Hocus Pocus 2” has too many filler scenes that make it look like about 40 minutes of this 103-minute film could have been removed, and this editing wouldn’t have made a difference at all to the movie’s underwhelming conclusion.

In the first “Hocus Pocus” movie (which was set in 1993), 15-year-old Max Dennison (played by Omri Katz) and his 8-year-old sister Dani Dennison (played by Thora Birch) have recently moved with their parents from Los Angeles to Salem, Massachusetts. Max and Dani hear about the Salem legend of three witch sisters—Winifred Sanderson (played by Bette Midler), Mary Sanderson (played by Kathy Najimy) and Sarah Sanderson (played by Sarah Jessica Parker)—who were known for eating children and were hanged to death by Salem residents in 1693. Ever since, Salem has been under threat of the possibility that the spirits of the Sanderson witches could return to get revenge and to kill more children.

Winifred, the eldest Sanderson sister, is bossy and mean-spirited. Mary, the middle sister, is nervous and eager to please “alpha witch” Winifred. Sarah, the youngest sister, is ditzy and very flirtatious. As legend has it, Winifred poisoned to death a man named William “Billy” Butcherson (played by Doug Jones) in 1693, because Billy was caught kissing Sarah, even though Winifred claimed Billy was her boyfriend. In “Hocus Pocus,” the Billy character was resurrected from his grave as a zombie.

The only way that the Sanderson sisters can come back to life is on Halloween, during a night with a full moon, and if someone lights a special black candle and chants a certain spell. The Sanderson sisters have a big book of spells called the Manual of Witchcraft and Alchemy that is actually “alive” (the book has one eye that can open and shut), and the sisters want to get possession of this book when they are resurrected. However, these witch sisters can be stopped when the sun comes up before they can cast the ultimate spells that they want to cast.

In “Hocus Pocus,” a skeptical Max, who doesn’t believe in magic, accidentally brings back to life the Sanderson sister witches, who then kidnap Dani. Max teams up with a classmate (and his secret crush) named Allison Watts (played by Vinessa Shaw) to try to rescue Dani. “Hocus Pocus” is very predictable, but it has plenty of amusing and adventurous moments.

In “Hocus Pocus 2” (which takes place in Salem in 2022), the witches are brought back to life on purpose by two best friends named Becca (played by Whitney Peak) and Izzy (played by Belissa Escobedo), who conjure up the Sanderson Sisters on a moonlit Halloween night that happens to be Becca’s 16th birthday. There’s also an adult character who wants the witches to be brought back to Salem. This conjuring scene doesn’t happen until about 30 minutes into the movie.

Instead, “Hocus Pocus 2” begins with tedious flashback scenes showing the Sanderson sisters as girls who are about 11 or 12 years old, sometime in the late 1600s. Taylor Henderson has the role of Young Winifred, Nina Kitchen performs as Young Mary, and Juju Journey Brener is the character of Young Sarah. None of this backstory amusing, interesting or well-acted.

The only real purpose of this drawn-out flashback is to show that the Sanderson sisters’ main nemesis back then was a judgmental pastor named Reverend Traske (played by Tony Hale), who has told Winifred that she’s getting old and has arranged for her to marry a young man named John Pritchett (played by Thomas Fitzgerald). The movie makes a point of showing that back in the 1600s, when human beings’ life expectancies were much shorter than they are now, pre-teen girls could get married and had marriages arranged for them by elders in the community.

However, Winifred doesn’t want to marry John, because she has her sights set on young Billy (played by Austin J. Ryan) to be her future husband. Winifred also defies and insults Reverend Traske by taking the Lord’s name in vain. With a crowd of Salem residents gathered in the town square, Reverend Traske shames Winifred and banishes her from Salem. (No one mentions where the sisters’ parents are during all this brouhaha.)

During this public shaming, Winifred has secretly put a live spider on the reverend’s arm. When he sees the spider, Reverend Traske panics and causes an uproar. Amid the chaos, the Sanderson sisters run into the woods nearby to hide. While in these woods, the sisters encounter the Witch Mother (played by Hannah Waddingham), who gives them the Manual of Witchcraft and Alchemy. The Sanderson sisters use the Spell of Smoke and Flame to set fire to Reverend Traske’s house as revenge. (No one is killed in this arson.)

“One day, Salem will belong to us!” Winifred vows when stating what will be the Sanderson sisters’ main mission. Winifred is the most vengeful and angriest of the three sisters. “Hocus Pocus 2” later has flashbacks of the Sanderson sisters as older teenagers, with Skyla Sousa as Winifred, Aiden Torres as Mary, and Emma Kaufman as Sarah.

It turns out that Reverend Traske was an ancestor of Salem’s current Mayor Traske (also played by Hale), who is campaigning for re-election in one of the movie’s useless subplots. Hale does his usual schtick of playing a neurotic character who is socially awkward but puts up a front of false confidence. Mayor Traske has a teenage daughter named Cassie (played by Lilia Buckingham), who attends Samuel Skelton High School in Salem. Becca and Izzy are two Cassie’s classmates.

Cassie, Becca and Izzy used to be a trio of best friends, until Cassie started avoiding Becca and Izzy and began spending more time with her athlete boyfriend Mike (played by Froy Gutierrez), a fellow classmate who is shallow and not smart. Mike has a particular dislike of Becca and Izzy, because he thinks these two pals have a weird interest in magic and the supernatural. He publicly teases Becca and Izzy about being witches.

Cassie is a passive girlfriend who goes along with whatever what Mike wants. Becca and Izzy feel confused and betrayed over why Cassie has seemingly turned against them, just so Cassie can fit in with Mike and his popular friends. Is this a “Hocus Pocus” movie or a run-of-the-mill teen soap opera? The movie takes way too much time with this subplot about teenage cliques when it should have focused more on how menacing the witches are to children.

“Hocus Pocus 2” further muddles the plot with a goofy character who calls himself Gilbert the Great (played by Sam Richardson), a magic enthusiast who owns and operates Olde Salem Magic Shoppe. Gilbert has a black cat named Cobweb, who’s cute and lives at the shop, but the cat doesn’t talk like the black cat did in “Hocus Pocus.” (The reason why the black cat talked in “Hocus Pocus” is explained in the beginning of the movie.)

On Halloween, Gilbert tells a group of assembled kids at his shop that the Sanderson sisters were “the most powerful coven who ever lived.” In other words, Gilbert is a superfan of the Sanderson sisters. And to prove how much of a fan he is, Gilbert has the Manual of Witchcraft and Alchemy proudly on display in a locked case in his shop. Guess who’s going to want to bring back the Sanderson sisters too?

Of course, there would be no “Hocus Pocus 2” if the Sanderson sisters didn’t get revived again. They make their entrance by performing “The Witches Are Back,” to the music of Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back,” but with different lyrics. At least “Hocus Pocus 2” had the sense to continue to use the singing talent of Midler in a scene that will delight fans of campy entertainment.

However, “Hocus Pocus 2” continually mishandles the depictions of why these three witches are supposed to be so dangerous. In “Hocus Pocus,” the Sanderson sisters are constantly craving children to eat. These sister witches, who have extraordinary senses that can detect the presence of children, often use these supersenses to try to hunt down children.

In “Hocus Pocus 2,” the Sanderson witches encounter children, but the witches don’t have the same air of intimidation and make very little attempt to capture any children that are in their way, like the same witches did in the first “Hocus Pocus” movie. Instead, “Hocus Pocus 2” has a silly sequence where Becca and Izzy pretend to be fans of the Sanderson sisters and lure the witches into a Walgreens store to get beauty products, in an attempt to appeal to the witches’ vanity. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.

The witches are flabbergasted and fascinated by the Walgreens store’s sliding glass doors (apparently, the witches never knew sliding glass doors existed in 1993), which is one of the many not-very-funny gags in the movie. When the witches look for tools for riding in the air, Winifred finds a broom at Walgreens. Apparently, it’s the only broom in the store, because Sarah has to make do with a Swiffer WetJet, while Mary uses glowing hover rings.

The Walgreens sequence and other scenes in “Hocus Pocus 2” are just blatant excuses for product/brand placement. The movie also throws in a shameless and rather pointless mention of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” (ABC is owned by Disney, the company behind the “Hocus Pocus” movies.)

Meanwhile, the Sanderson sisters have time to show up on stage during Salem’s annual Halloween carnival to perform their version of Blondie’s “One Way or Another.” Billy the zombie returns in “Hocus Pocus 2” with his own agenda: He wants to clear his name, because he says he never cheated on Winifred, since he says that he was never Winifred’s boyfriend. Mayor Traske also has some of his own unresolved love-life issues from his past: He’s pining over a woman named Sandy, who founded a candy store in Salem called Sandy’s Candy Cauldron, and she’s coming back to Salem to re-open the store.

If this “Hocus Pocus 2” plot sounds very scatter-brained and unadventurous, that’s because it is. Midler, Najimy and Parker are obviously having fun, hamming it up in their roles, but the Sanderson Sisters act more like wannabe cabaret singers in “Hocus Pocus 2” than real witches who are hungry to hunt for children. When the witches finally capture a child (it’s the most obvious person possible, considering the sisters’ feud from the past), this kidnapping arrives so late in the movie, the stakes aren’t as high as they were in “Hocus Pocus.” The visual effects in “Hocus Pocus 2” are mediocre.

The Sanderson sisters are supposed to be over-the-top and ridiculous. In that respect, cast members Midler, Najimy and Parker deliver what they’re expected to deliver in “Hocus Pocus 2,” despite the substandard screenplay. However, the movie’s younger cast members don’t do anything special with their performances in “Hocus Pocus 2,” like Birch did in her scene-stealing performance in “Hocus Pocus.”

Fletcher’s direction of “Hocus Pocus 2” is just too unfocused and unremarkable to make “Hocus Pocus 2” shine in an outstanding way. The movie overall is unable to overcome the “Hocus Pocus 2” screenplay’s many flaws. Simply put: “Hocus Pocus 2” might be satisfactory enough for people with low expectations. But for people who expect better from a sequel that has been talked about for years and took 29 years to get released, “Hocus Pocus 2” will not be casting any enchanting spells.

Disney+ will premiere “Hocus Pocus 2” on September 30, 2022.

Halloween 2018: Horror movies and supernatural thrillers in theaters on All Hallows’ Eve

October 1, 2018

by Carla Hay

There are numerous horror movies available to watch on TV, computers or mobile devices, but for Halloween 2018, there are a select number of horror flicks and supernatural thrillers that will be released in theaters in October.  Horror and supernatural movies released before October 2018 that should still be in theaters during the Halloween season include “The Nun” (rated PG-13); “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” (rated PG); “Hell Fest” (rated R); “The Predator” (rated R); and “Slender Man” (rated PG-13). Here are the movies that have an October 2018 release:

Information in this article is about U.S. releases.


(Movies that are rated R)

“Halloween” (2018)

Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode, the most famous target of serial killer Michael Myers’ murderous wrath. Curtis played the role in the first “Halloween” movie in 1978, the 1981 sequel “Halloween II” and in 1998’s “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later.” In the 2018 “Halloween,” Laurie once again faces off against Michael Myers, as he returns to their hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. John Carpenter, who wrote and directed the first “Halloween” movie, is not a key player in this 2018 sequel, which was directed and co-written by David Gordon Green. The 2018 “Halloween” cast also includes Nick Castle (who played Michael Myers in the first “Halloween” movie), Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, and Virginia Gardner.  The 2018 “Halloween” sequel got mostly positive reviews after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie, which is rated R, opens in wide release on October 19, 2018.

“Suspiria” (2018)

This remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror movie is also set in the 1970s (just like the original “Suspiria”) and the concept is the same: a young American female dancer joins a dance company in Germany that is plagued by evil forces. Luca Guadagnino (Oscar-nominated producer of “Call My By Your Name”) directed this “Suspiria” remake, whose cast includes Tilda Swinton as the troupe’s artistic director; Jessica Harper, who starred in the original “Suspiria”; and Dakota Johnson, Mia Goth and Chloë Grace Moretz as members of the dance company. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke makes his debut as a film composer with this movie. “Suspiria” got divisive reviews (critics loved it or hated it) after its world premiere at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival. The movie arrives in select U.S. theaters on October 26, 2018, before getting a wider release on November 2, 2018.


(Movies that are rated PG or PG-13)

“I Still See You”

In a post-apocalyptic world, the ghosts of dead people can still be seen performing activities on a repetitive loop before they disappear. When a high-school student Veronica “Roni” Calder (played Bella Thorne) receives threatening warnings from a mysterious young male ghost, she teams up with a classmate (played by Richard Harmon) to get to the bottom of the mystery. “I Still See You” also stars Dermot Mulroney as one of Roni’s school teachers. The movie is based on the novel “Break My Heart One Thousand Times” by Daniel Waters. Directed by Scott Speer, “I Still See You,” which is rated PG-13, opens in limited release on October 12, 2018. The movie is also available on demand on the same date.

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween”

This sequel to 2015’s “Goosebumps” doesn’t have most of the first “Goosebumps” movie’s cast, but it follows the same premise: a group of kids discover toys that come to life and often scare them after a mysterious book is opened. Based on author R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” book series, “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,” directed by Ari Sandel, has a cast that includes Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Chris Parnell and Ken Jeong. Jack Black has a cameo reprising his role as R.L. Stine from the first “Goosebumps” movie. “Goosebumps 2,” which is rated PG, opens in wide release on October 12, 2018.



Tim Burton’s classic 1988 horror comedy tells the story of deceased young couple Adam and Barbara Maitland (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), who haunt their former home and try unsuccessfully to scare away the house’s new residents: Charles and Delia Deetz (played by Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara) and their moody teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder). In desperation, the Maitlands conjur up the obnoxious ghost Betelgeuse (played by Michael Keaton) to enlist his help in terrifying the Deetz family into moving out of the house. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Beetlejuice” (which is rated PG) on October 17 to celebrate the movie’s 30th anniversary.  More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Evil Dead 2”

Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead 2” is a rare sequel that is considered just as good if not better than the original movie: 1981’s “The Evil Dead,” which Raimi also wrote and directed. In a plot similar to that of its predecessor, 1987’s “Evil Dead 2” has Ash Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) fighting off demons in a secluded cabin in the woods. This time, instead of reading from the Book of the Dead that conjures the evil spirits, it’s a discovered audiotape of a professor reading from the book that unleashes the horrific beasts once again. “Evil Dead 2,” which is rated R, has been given a 4K restoration and a limited re-release in select U.S. theaters, as of October 1, 2018. More information can be found here.

“The Fog”

Writer/director John Carpenter followed up his 1978 classic horror film “Halloween” with 1980’s “The Fog,” a ghost story about a fictional seaside California town named Antonio Bay that is haunted by sinister spirits whose presence is foreshadowed by an eerie fog. The movie’s cast includes Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook and the mother-daughter duo of Janet Leigh and original “Halloween” star Jamie Lee Curtis. “Halloween” co-star Nancy Loomis, who now goes by the name Nancy Kyes, also has a role in this movie. “The Fog,” which is rated R, has received a 4K restoration and is getting a limited re-release in select U.S. theaters by Rialto Pictures, beginning on October 26, 2018. More information can be found here.

“Frankenstein” (1931)

The original “Frankenstein” movie is considered one of the all-time great horror movie classics. The story of mad scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his man-made horror creature has been told on screen many times, but film historians consider the original movie version to be the best. The original “Frankenstein” movie also made Boris Karloff, who played the creature, a horror-movie icon. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Frankenstein” (which is unrated) on October 16. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Frankenstein” (2011 National Theatre stage production)

In 2011, Fathom Events released a screening of the U.K.’s “Frankenstein” National Theatre stage production, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller switching roles as Dr. Frankenstein and his Creature in different versions of the play. Directed by Danny Boyle, this special screening (which is not rated) is getting a re-release in select U.S. cinemas on two dates: October 22 will have Miller as Dr. Frankenstein and Cumberbatch as the Creature, while October 29 will feature Cumberbatch as Dr. Frankenstein and Miller as the Creature. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“Ghostbusters” (1984)

The original 1984 “Ghostbusters” movie is considered a horror-comedy classic. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the movie tells the story of three paranormal investigators (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis), their first recruit (Ernie Hudson), their socialite client (played by Sigourney Weaver), her neighbor (played by Rick Moranis), and how they stumble upon ghosts and demons in New York City. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Ghostbusters” (which is rated PG) on October 9. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Halloween” (1978)

John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is considered one of the most influential horror movies of all time, and certainly one of the top films representing the “slasher” subgenre of horror flicks. The mask-wearing, knife-wielding, mute serial killer Michael Myers has become a much-parodied and imitated horror icon, but at the time that “Halloween” was released, many of the terror-inducing elements of this movie were considered groundbreaking. The slow-burn suspense of “Halloween,” which spawned numerous inferior sequels, can be fully appreciated on the big screen, considering that most modern “slasher” movies follow a formula of someone getting killed every 15 to 20 minutes. Jamie Lee Curtis, as teenage babysitter Laurie Strode, made her movie debut in “Halloween,” one of many horror films in which she’s had a starring role, including the 2018 movie sequel of the same name. Donald Pleasence also stars in the original “Halloween” as Myers’ psychiatric doctor, who doggedly tries to find his patient after Myers escapes from a psychiatric institution. The original 1978 “Halloween,”  which is rated R, is getting a 40th anniversary re-release, with a restored and remastered digital print, in select theaters in the U.S. and other countries.  CineLife Entertainment teamed up with Compass International Pictures and Trancas International Films for the re-release that begins for a limited time on September 27, 2018. More information can be found here. The Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Halloween” on October 30, with Squared Co photo ops and giveaways. A select number of Cinépolis locations will have director’s commentary on SoundFI devices.

“Hocus Pocus”

The supernatural comedy film “Hocus Pocus,” directed by Kenny Ortega, tells the story of three ancient sister witches (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) who are accidentally conjured up by a teenage boy (played by Omri Katz) after he and his family move from Los Angeles to Salem, Massachusetts. “Hocus Pocus,” which is rated PG, is getting a special 25th anniversary re-release at AMC Theatres from October 26 to October 31. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

 “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

George A. Romero’s zombie-invasion classic is often on people’s lists of the best horror movies of all time, and it’s considered the best of all the sequels, spinoffs and remakes that this original movie inspired. Filmed in black and white, “The Night of the Living Dead” has a plot that is simple but executed to chilling effect: A group of strangers trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse try to survive an unexpected plague of zombies. Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea were among the cast of relatively unknown actors in the film. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie’s release, Fathom Events,  in association with Museum of Modern Art and the George Lucas Family Foundation, are presenting a restored and remastered print of “Night of the Living Dead,” which is rated R, in select U.S. theaters on October 24 and October 25. More information and ticket purchases are available here.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

The 1993 animated musical “The Nightmare Before Christmas”—produced and conceived by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick—tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, who accidentally goes through a portal to Christmas Town.  When he returns to Halloween Town to celebrate Christmas and share  his knowledge about Christmas, chaos ensues. Danny Elfman, who wrote the film’s songs and score, provided the singing voice of Jack. The voice cast also includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Paul Reubens, Glenn Shadix, and Ed Ivory. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is getting a 25th anniversary re-release at Regal movie theaters from October 26 to October 31.  Screenings will be available in standard 2D at all participating Regal theaters, as well as in 4DX at select locations. Regal Crown Club members who purchase tickets to the event will also receive a $5 concession combo offer, including a small popcorn and drink, while supplies last. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Rosemary’s Baby”

Roman Polanski’s 1968 sinister horror film tells the story of a young New York City wife named Rosemary Woodhouse (played by Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (played by John Cassevetes), whose joy of having their first child turns to horror when strange things start happening around them, including people they know becoming severely ill or dying. The couple’s strange neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (played by Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon), who have a creepy interest in Rosemary’s pregnancy, might have something to do with it. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Rosemary’s Baby” (which is rated R) on October 2 to celebrate the movie’s 50th anniversary.

“Spirited Away”

Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 Japanese fantasy adventure “Spirited Away” is an Oscar-winning movie (Best Animated Feature) that tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro Ogino who enters the spirit world after her parents are turned into pigs by a witch named Yubaba. Chihiro then works in Yubaba’s bath house to try and find a way to free her parents from the spell and get them back into the real world. Fathom Events is presenting “Spirited Away,” which is rated PG, in select U.S. theaters on October 28, 29 and 30. The October 28 and 30 screenings will be dubbed in English, while the October 29 screening will be in Japanese with English subtitles. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.


The vampire film series “Twilight” (based on Stephanie Meyer’s young-adult book series) evoked love/hate responses from moviegoing audiences. Rabid fans of “Twilight” loved the romance of vampire Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) and human teenager Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart); the Cullen vampire clan’s complicated relationship with werewolves; and the battles of good versus evil. However, there was an immense backlash against “Twilight” by the time the movie series ended in 2012, with critics deriding the acting, dialogue and visual effects. And even though the “Twilight” series made Pattinson and Stewart into highly paid teen-idol celebrities (and sparked a doomed real-life romance between the two co-stars), they have since given interviews saying they dislike their “Twilight” notoriety. For people who want to remember or experience the film that started the “Twilight” movie craze, Fathom Events will have a 10th anniversary re-release of the first “Twilight” movie (which is rated PG-13 and directed by Catherine Hardwicke) in select U.S. theaters on October 21 and October 23. The screening includes a filmed introduction by Hardwicke and an exclusive sneak peek of the new special feature “Twilight Tour…10 Years Later.” More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Young Frankenstein”

This 1974 horror comedy is widely considered to be director Mel Brooks’ greatest film. Brooks co-wrote the “Young Frankenstein” screenplay with Gene Wilder, who stars as Frederick Frankenstein, a grandson of Victor Frankenstein, who travels to Transylvania and unwittingly creates another monster creature (played by Peter Boyle). The movie also stars Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars and Marty Feldman. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Young Frankenstein” (which is rated PG) on October 23. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

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