An overblown Halloween pantomime from Disney, in which the obligatory trio of ugly sisters is led by Bette Midler – looking more like a cross between Ken Dodd and Margaret Thatcher than anything out of a fairytale book.
Hanged for their crimes three centuries earlier, the witches (Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker) are brought back to life in 1993 Salem when smalltown sceptic Omri Katz lights a magic candle in their abandoned cottage. Only by feeding on the souls of children before the next sun rises can they regain their immortality , so it’s up to the kids and their talking cat to save the townsfolk. For all its hubble-bubble, there’s too much toil getting the gags onscreen and too much trouble pulling them off. In aiming for a safe land where teen/horror comedy meets the Brothers Grimm, Hocus Pocus fails to be funny or scary enough and doesn’t even deliver diverting special effects.