I sincerely need to point out the fact that within several Halloween/Autumn Facebook groups I'm in, the most commonly asked thing has to be about finding some variety of family-friendly Halloween movies. This is pretty much what lead me to this theme for Tuesday, and I figured I'd start with something pretty much everyone can agree is a fine, family-friendly and actually pretty fun Halloween movie. Although I will say from the get-go that, as it's also mentioned in my "20 Family Friendly Halloween Classics" list, this is one of those titles that, while I don't altogether dislike, I still find a bit weak. It's not even something I'd say is bad, really, it's just kind of "there" at this point in my life, and there's actually not a huge nostalgic tie for me with this one.
Most who are reading this, if not all, have probably seen this, but just in case, here's a quick plot summary. On Halloween of 1693, in Salem Massachusetts, a little girl named Emily (Amanda Shepherd) is kidnapped by the Sanderson Sisters; Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy). The trio of witches plot to suck the life essence out of the young Emily in order to make themselves younger. Ultimately, they succeed, while her protective big brother, Thackery Binx (Sean Murray), fails to save her and is thus cursed by the witches to be a cat for eternity, living in guilt. Soon, the sisters are discovered by the townsfolk and hanged, placing a last-minute, specific curse on the town. Said curse involves a virgin lighting the sacred "Black Candle" on one fateful All Hallows' Eve sometime down the line.
Sure enough, in what was present day, 1993, the black candle is lit by the annoyingly whiney and rather obvious virgin, Max Dennison (Omri Katz), who, with his little sister, Dani (Thora Birch) and love interest, Allison (Vinessa Shaw), explore the old Sanderson cottage; now a local history museum. Long story short, the witches come back to life and ultimately wanna chase down Dani for her youthful essence, but much of the film also involves their chasing of Wini's spell book, which Max took from her during their escape (they escape, by the way). A lot of the comedy from the film comes from these three interacting with modern 90s society; so actually, a bit entertaining to watch in the woke culture of the present day.
This is one of those titles where the more I watch it the duller it seems to get for me. But it should also be noted that I sincerely feel as though it's just a matter of me outgrowing something from my childhood. I'm big on nostalgia, as we all know, but for some reason, this one just didn't stick like glue. I can honestly say that this time around, I just found the whole thing very silly and not really that funny, but I can also honestly say that it feels clear that this was something made for kids. Some may question about the whole "virgin" thing here, and whether or not it's "okay" for a kid to be familiar with the term. It sort of leads me to imagine that there's a very specific age group this is aimed at, and I just so happened to fall into that age group in 1993. That said, however, I could very well be overthinking it.
Even though I have sort of fallen behind in my enjoyment of this movie over the years, that's not at all me saying "hey, this is a piece of crap, avoid it". I'd just say it's not for me as much as it is for others who would insist on this being a sort of quintessential Halloween classic for a younger audience, or even just a family audience. It clearly has a big effect on a lot of people out there, and I'd never want to take that away from anyone. I'd still recommend it as a great family fun Halloween flick for anyone, but that's based on how much others love it more than myself. If nothing else, I'd give it to the performances of the three witches, who really do keep the movie kinda fun with a dark and admirably in-sync sense of humour. I dunno what else to say though. Take a look before checking out its new sequel and judge for yourself!