Hocus Pocus (1993) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.

  • 300 years have passed since the Sanderson sisters were executed for practicing dark witchcraft. Returning to life thanks to a combination of a spell spoken before their demise and the accidental actions of Max, the new-kid-in-town, the sisters have but one night to secure their continuing existence...

  • Three hundred years ago, executed witches were executed in Salem, Massachusetts and a boy who tried to stop the witches was turned into an immortal black cat. Now it's Halloween 1993 and the witches are accidentally brought back. This time, they've got until sunrise to achieve immortal life and have turned their wrath on trick-or-treaters and it's up to a teenager, his kid sister and his girlfriend along with the 300-year-old cat to save the day.

  • 300 years ago, the Sanderson sisters had practiced witchcraft and been punished. Now it's Halloween 1993 and Max Dennison has lit the candle that is said to bring the witches back to life. Now Max, his girlfriend Allison, and his kid sister Dani must save all the kids in Salem from the witch sisters including leader Winifred, goofy Sarah, and high-strung Mary who will steal the lives of children.

  • In the year 1693, sisters, Winifred, Mary and Sarah were executed for practicing witchcraft. Just before their execution, Winifred made a curse, a curse that when a virgin lights the black flame candle they shall return . In 1993, 300 years later, Max decides to light the candle in order to show off to his irritating kid sister Dani and his wannabe girlfriend Alison. Now, the three Witches are back ready for a night of fun, magic and horror in the modern Salem on Halloween.

  • In the year 1693, three sisters, Winifred, Mary and Sarah were executed for their practicing witchcraft but not before their living book of spells revealed to them a curse to bring the three back from the dead. 300 years later, teenager Max Dennison is a newcomer to Salem, struggling to adjust after growing up in California.Now, he must spend the evening escorting her door to door for trick or treating while their parents enjoy the town Halloween dance. Max's efforts to impress a girl lead him to break the curse and bring Sarah, Mary, and Winifred Sanderson back from the dead. From there on out, it's a non-stop, fun-filled chase as the witches pursue the children, determined to perform their spells before sunrise or else the witches will be gone forever. Max, Dani, and Allison work together to outrun, outwit, and outlast the evil trio and their magical arsenal, with the fate of all the children of Salem hanging in the balance.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Hocus Pocus begins in a small town in 1693, were a teenager named Thackery Binx realizes his little sister, Emily, has been lured Into the woods, under the control of a witch. Thackery urges his friend Elijah to hurry back to the village and alert the elders. He then rushes after Emily, and eventually finds the house where Emily has been captured. Inside the house, three aging evil witches, the Sanderson sisters-- Winifred, Mary, and Sarah (Midler, Najimy and Parker), are brewing a potion in a cauldron. Winifred, the eldest sister, highlights that the potion, when drank by a child, has the ability to restore the witches' youth. Before the witches can force the potion into Emily, Thackery stops them and engages in a brawl with Winnie, and is overcome. The sisters then suck the life-force from little Emily and their youth is restored, then cast a spell on helpless Thackery that he take the form of a black cat for eternity to suffer do his failure to save his sister. Immediately after, the angry villagers, wielding torches, capture the sisters and prepare to hang the trio. Thackery's father demands that Winifred divulge his son's whereabouts, but she refuses to say. Winnie's spell book reveals a prophecy that on All Hallows Eve, a virgin shall light the black flame candle and resurrect them. The sisters are then hanged and Thackery the cat rubs against his father's leg, but the father, not recognizing him, pushes him away.

    300 years later, in Salem, a teacher tells her class about the Sanderson sisters, since Halloween is approaching. Max Dennison, a new student just arrived from California isn't a believer. Max attempts to befriend fellow classmate Alison as the school closes for Halloween break. While cycling home, Max cuts through a cemetery and runs into two teenage punks named Ice and Jay who tease him, later stealing his trainers. When an irritated Max returns home, unhappy about his new location, he finds solace in his room and daydreams about Alison. Dani, his little sister then frightens him and demands that he take her trick or treating that night. At first he refuses, but is later forced to take his sister into the neighborhood to collect candy. After an embarrassing confrontation with Ice and Jay over surrendering their candy, Dani storms off on Max and he goes to reconcile with her. The two then find the mansion of Alison's family and they meet Alison and engage in a conversation about the Sanderson sisters, planning to break into their home, now an abandoned museum dedicated to them. Dani is anxious about their Halloween prank, and when they break into the mill house Max foolishly lights the black flame candle to impress the girls. Odd occurrences begin to happen at the Sanderson house and the floorboards rattle and shake and the Sanderson sisters return home. The three kids hide while the sisters comically settle back into domesticity after a 3 centuries-long absence. Dani soon shows her face, claiming that she was the one who lit the candle. To protect his sister, Max and Alison attack the witches. Max fools the Witches by setting off the modern sprinkler system, making them think it is a terrible magic that will destroy them, in order to distract the witches from following him. He steals the spell book and is introduced to Thackery, an immortal cat with the ability to speak. After escaping the Sanderson sisters, Max, Alison and Dani follow Thackery 'Binx' into a cemetery to be safe on hallowed ground. BInx shows them Billy Butcherson's grave and his sister's headstone, they soon realize he is Thackery Binx, and that the legends are true about the witches and their killing his sister.

    The witches discover they have been tricked and devise a plan, the candle spell only brings them back for one night, they plot to suck the lives out of children before sunrise, so that they can stay alive and youthful forever,. They need to find Max since he has stolen the book. The witches set out into the modern world, and are constantly confused as to the ways of the world in the early 90's. They track down Max and the gang to the cemetery, unable to set foot on hallowed ground, and taking flight on their broomsticks. Winnie resurrects Billy Butcherson, now a decaying zombie, to find the trio after losing them. The kids take rescue in a sewer and make their way through the underground while the witches who have had their broomsticks taken by children trick or treaters board a bus. Binx finds a sewer hole that they can escape from Billy and makes his way out into the streets, and is then run over by the bus the sisters have boarded. Binx returns to normal health, since he is immortal, and the witches depart the bus in Halloween-themed suburbia. Max, Alison, Dani and Binx go to city hall, crowded with people attending the Halloween party so that they can find their parents. When the witches enter city hall to find the children, Max's parents do not believe them and he is forced to tell the party-attendants on stage that the witches have come back to life. Everyone laughs until Max points at the Sandersons. The spotlight soon switches to Winnie and her sisters, and everyone stares. But Winifred quickly turns the tables on Max, dazzling the party goers by pretending they are entertainers and breaking into song and going on stage to do a dance number (as only the Divine 'Miss M' can). The song contains an insidious spell by which the witches compel the party goers to all dance and party until they die of exhaustion.

    Max and the gang flee the city hall party, and hide from the sisters behind a restaurant alley. An old oven gives Alison an idea on how to deal with the witches and they go to their high school. The witches enter the school, since Mary has trailed the scent of the children. Thinking it is a prison for children, the witches search the halls and follow a voice, actually a tape recorder and step into a pottery furnace, Alison and Dani then close the hatch and turn the furnace on to burn up the witches. In celebration, Max and Dani head home with Alison, deciding to keep Binx as their own cat. They fall asleep, certain that the witches are gone forever. But Winnie, Mary and Sarah soon emerge from the furnace and are restored to their normal form.Time is running out and they are desperate since the children have the spell book and they can't remember the spell for the eternal youth potion. Along the home the witches run into Ice and Jay who insult them and the witches take the boys captive and place them in cages at home. Winnie breaks down, certain that they are doomed. At the Dennison household, Alison and Max wake up, both feeling sympathy for Binx in his feline-form. They open the spell book to see if they can reverse his spell, and the book emits a signal that Max, Alison and Dani cannot see. the Sanderson sisters see the signal from across town and go into the cleaning closet to find new brooms. Winnie soon takes flight on a house broom along with Mary on a vacuum and Sarah on a mop and they head into the suburbs to retrieve the book. Max and Alison are stopped by Binx who slams the book shut. Alison has an eerie feeling that something isn't right. Acting on her uncertainty, she and Max fetch some salt from the kitchen, as a defense mechanism if the witches do return. Max and Alison's impromptu moment of romance is interrupted by odd noises from upstairs, and they go to see what happened. Alison sees that the book is gone, and Max pulls back the covers of Dani's bed to reveal Sarah. Mary and Winifred enter from the closet holding Dani hostage and holding the book. To defend herself, Alison pours a ring of salt around her and the trio of witches take to the skies with Dani to use her as their first sacrifice. Max and Alison and Binx are off to get Dani back. Sarah sings a gentle spell from the skies to summon all the children of Salem to the Sanderson house as additional sources of youth. Sarah returns home, and Winnie is fixing up the potion in their cauldron while Dani is tied to a chair. Max enters the Sanderson house in time to save Dani from consuming the potion, knocks over the cauldron and tells the witches the sun is rising. The sisters fall to floor, but are tricked as the ray of light turns out to be the headlights of the vehicle the rescuers took to get there. The sisters have the opportunity to suck the lives of the children that are approaching their house, but Winnie is determined to have Dani's soul first since she called her 'ugly'. There is just enough of the potion left for one child, so the witches take off after the kids. After losing the witches, Max, Alison, Dani and Binx return to the cemetery where the witches can't set foot on hallowed ground. Dani is protected by a ring of salt as Billy, the zombie, joins them to defend her since he also has a hatred for Winnie. The sisters swoop at them from all angles. Winnie knocks Billy's head off, and Dani carelessly leaves the safety of the salt ring to retrieve it and give it back to him. Winnie captures Dani and is about to force her to drink the potion when Binx rushes up a tree and leaps, knocking the potion from her hand, Max catches the potion and threatens to smash it unless Winnie releases his sister. But Winnie threatens instead to kill Dani if Max does this. The standoff is resolved when Max suddenly drinks the potion, forcing Winnie to take him instead. Winifred frees Dani, claiming that Max is a fool to give up his life for Dani. Winnie then attempts to suck the life out of Max, as Alison, Billy and Dani prevent Mary from helping Winnie by holding on to her flying vacuum's cord. Sarah tries to help Mary, and a tug-of-war ensues, ending when Alison, Dani and Billy release the cord, causing Mary and Sarah to fly off helplessly into the sky. Winnie is knocked off her broom while struggling with Max, and lands on the cemetery's hallowed ground, taking hold of him and sucking his life-force. The sun begins to rise from the horizon of the cemetery, Winnie is stuck between the sun and the hallowed ground, slowly turning to stone. The other two sisters disintegrate from the sunrise and Binx takes his final breath, the curse on him broken. Dani and Max are reunited, and she is touched that he would give up his own life for her. Dani then realizes that Binx is dead and begins to weep over him. But suddenly Thackery's spirit appears to console her, showing her that the curse is lifted and he is free. He thanks her, and Max and Alison, for their heroic fight against the Sanderson sisters. Emily's spirit appears and Thackery is finally reunited with his sister. The film ends with Max, Dani and Alison victorious after the defeat of the Sanderson sisters, and Dani smiling as Thackery and Emily walk away through the cemetery gates.

    Premise: After the end credits, Max and Dani's parents exit city hall with the other party goers, exhausted from hours of dancing, then cuts to Ice and Jay still hanging from the cages at the Sanderson home, singing 'Row row row your boat'. As the credits approach, the spell book opens its eye.

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