“It was more like the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. It had a darker, ‘I’m gonna get you, my love,'” original cast member Vinessa Shaw said.
“Hocus Pocus” with more of a horror focus? Sounds like a conspiracy.
In the center of the beloved film of 1993 – a trio of witches, which he plays Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parkerand Kathy Najimy, who must drain the life from children in order to remain eternal. While the Disney film is decidedly family-friendly, original cast member Vince Shaw recalled that the script has a more sinister quality.
“I remember reading the original draft, which was much scarier, and that was the draft we auditioned with,” said Shaw, who played Ellison Entertainment Weekly. “It wasn’t them messing around and bumping into each other, it was simple. It was more like The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz; it had a darker, “I’ll get you, my love.” They’re a trifecta and can’t do anything without one who was stronger in the second draft.”
Shaw noted that once production began, it became clear that “Focus Pocus” had an innate comedic element.
“When we started filming, it became a funny version, much lighter. It had the female element of The Three Stooges, and all the choreography that was added made for a much more comedic film that brought out the strengths of the actresses,” Shaw said of the Sanderson sisters on screen.
Shaw added: “I think that’s why the film is so beloved. Obviously, witches and what they do — draining the life out of children — is scary, but the fact that it’s done in a comedic way is nice.”
The sequel, Focus Pocus 2, premiered earlier this year on Disney+, making history as the streamer’s most watched movie on the platform. Jude Dry of IndieWire wrote in them review for the long-awaited sequel, that the basic “trifecta of divine divas” is what the franchise depends on.
“Unfortunately, their mean streaks seem to have mellowed over the years, and the film relies on a fictional sisterhood to wrap things up,” Dry wrote, but later added, “It was only a matter of time before Focus Pocus would be resurrected.” This is the world of witches; everything else is just scenery to get these three back on the broomsticks again.’
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