Hocus Pocus – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1993 film Hocus Pocus.

Story

It’s harder for me to judge this movie’s story than normal because I’ve watched it yearly for 25+ years. There are a lot of witch clichés thrown around in this movie but it also works as a satire of the concept.

I was impressed that there were no offensive moments and it was as much fun as it always was.

Score: 1 (Admittedly not objective)

Character

The witches were wonderfully evil, narcissistic, and funny.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Dani (one of my first crushes). Max is an idiot who doesn’t think before he speaks or acts but has lots of heart. The brother-sister relationship makes him likeable beyond the typical white boy with a crush. Allison is a little bland but could have been worse.

The movie is greatly lacking in any sort of representation.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

I think I need a list of Bette Midler’s insults in this for my next internet argument. Maggoty Malfeasance and Thundering Oafs being some of my favourite. The dialogue is over the top and a little awkward but delivered perfectly. I’ve often danced around singing Amok! Amok! Amok!

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This movie more than anything defined what I thought of as what Halloween should look like. The beautiful leaves and lively decorations. Similar to home but we had more snow and less leaves by that point. I envied their lack of snowsuits.

The music is sometimes epic, sometimes silly, and always right on point.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie makes me nostalgic and makes me smile. Watching my daughter’s face as she whispered, “He’s going to light the candle.” and, “No don’t light the candle.” made my night. It was great to see how into it she was.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a classic and is both scary and funny. It’s not a perfect movie but it is a lot of fun. The sections with the kids would have made for a fun movie but the witches send it over the top in every way. I’ve watched this dozens of times and I’ll happily watch it every Halloween.

Final Score: 4.5

Hocus Pocus, Massachusetts!

We recently introduced the classic Disney movie Hocus Pocus to our 3yo Dragon. She loved it. Obviously.

But it got me thinking…why haven’t I written a post about visiting the sets of Hocus Pocus yet?

Most of the movie was set on a sound stage (kinda hard to rig a flying witch in the real world, I guess!) but the outdoor, daytime sets were in Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Image of Max’s house in Hocus Pocus. Image from boston.com

With the 25th Anniversary of Hocus Pocus last year, the cities saw an up-tick of Halloween tourists, happy to see the outsides (and some insides) of buildings that made up part of their favourite Halloween movie.

You can too!

References

boston.com
salem.org

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Uley Long Barrow

Happy Halloween!

In honour of this spooky holiday, I would like to introduce you to the Uley Long Barrow.

Barrow means a mound placed over a grave/tomb, in case you were wondering.

Image of the Uley Long Barrow in Uley, Gloucestershire, England. From www.altasobscura.com

Numerous skeletons have been discovered within it over the years, and there is evidence of disturbances over the centuries. But considering the barrow is thought to be at least five THOUSAND (not hundred) years old, I guess that makes sense.

Uley is located in England, near Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, just north of Bristol and Bath and south-west of Stratford-on-Avon.

And guess what? You can go right inside it! (Be prepared to be squished and get very dirty!)

Read more here!


Are you interested in travelling to South-Western England? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Pumpkinferno

Upper Canada Village holds a special place in my heart, and even more so during the month of October. Why, do you ask? Because it hosts the largest pumpkin attraction ever!

Image from www.uppercanadavillage.com

7000 carved pumpkins line the streets of this Confederation town, and it is absolutely stunning.

Image from www.uppercanadavillage.com


Are you interested in travelling to Upper Canada Village? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Fandom Guest Post: Hauntingly Entertaining!

With Halloween right around the corner, is there a better way to get in the spirit of ghosts and ghouls than The Haunted Walk of Ottawa? Grab your lantern – let’s go for a walk.

You may not know it, but we live in city which offers amazingly rich history filled with scandal, scariness, and intrigue! We are even more fortunate that there is a business to tell these stories in such an engaging and vivid way. The Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa is a 90 minute tour, led by lantern light to some of Ottawa’s well known haunted spots, including: the Bytown Museum, the Fairmont Château Laurier and Ottawa’s haunted high school.

Since this was our first time taking one of their tours, we opted for the ‘Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa’. Louie, our tour guide, was fantastic; he related the tales with confidence and flair and kept the entire ninety minutes intriguing. I’m fairly used to ghostly tales and can be somewhat jaded, however, with the combination of the locations and the stories, the story telling was truly goose bump inducing. A few of the younger participants even seemed genuinely creeped out. The tour was not all serious the entire time; the walk was spiced up with occasional stabs at humour which also kept things interesting. The outing was a great way to share some history, campfire tales and get a wonderful tour of a truly beautiful city.

Image result for haunted walk of ottawa
Image from The Haunted Walk of Ottawa.

I will admit, before we started I was unsure if this tour really was for me. I’m not particularly superstitious and paranormal stories had never previously caught my full attention. The Haunted Walk has now changed that for me. The combined atmosphere of being on location and the expertise of the tour guide make it an exciting experience for anyone involved.

If you are looking for something to bring you straight into the Halloween spirit or you have never experienced The Haunted Walk – we highly recommend that you enjoy one of their tours (before it gets too cold!).


Dylan McEvoy is a writer for Ottawa’s very own The Nerd is the Word (website, Facebook, Twitter). The Nerd is the Word is a fantastic place to catch up on nerdy news, indie spotlights, reviews, and local events! Follow them and bookmark their website for more awesome content.

Halloween fun

This weekend is Halloween, and if you’re looking for something last-minute to do, I’m sure there’s a Halloween party just around the corner. In Ottawa, Can-Con will have Trick-or-Treating in the vendor’s room all day, and it’s free to the public, so be sure to stop by!

But if you’re looking for something a little further from home and off the beaten path, here are some great last-minute options!

Ithaca, New York

Do you like Harry Potter? Would you be interested in visiting Diagon Alley? For five hours on Halloween, Ithaca NY is transforming Press Bay Alley into Diagon Alley and I desperately want to go!! There will be a House Cup Competition, a Horcrux Hunt, a costume contest, presentations on magical creatures, wizarding chess, Quidditch re-enactments, wizarding duels, and so much more! This is their first event, so maybe I’ll be able to go next year…

A real-life Diagon Alley in Ithaca! I want to go!
A real-life Diagon Alley in Ithaca! I want to go! Image from http://ithacavoice.com/

The Catacombs of Paris

You would have had to enter the contest with Airbnb, but two lucky (or unlucky?) winners will be the first people to spend Halloween night in the Catacombs under Paris – the home of seven million corpses. Dinner, a private concert, breakfast, and a storyteller will put them to sleep with creepy bedtime stories “guaranteed to produce nightmares”. Who would like to participate in this? Certainly not me!

Hope the winners never saw the terrifying horror movie As Above, So Below or it’s trailer.

Creepy! Image from www.i.telegraph.co.uk
Creepy! Image from www.i.telegraph.co.uk

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado

The Stanley Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in the world. It was the setting for Stephen King’s “The Shining”. Reportedly haunted by Lord Stanley and his wife, as well as kids who run along the fourth floor halls at two in the morning, and many others, this would be the place to go to test yourself. It is open for business, and hosts a Ghost Adventure Package as well as standard room packages.

Just don’t order the Redrum…

The Stanley Hotel. Image from www.stanleyhotel.com
The Stanley Hotel. Image from www.stanleyhotel.com


If you are interested in going on any of these cruises, or others. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Happy Haunting!


References

https://www.facebook.com/events/1633034433638155/
http://ithacavoice.com/2015/10/2400-harry-potter-fans-to-transform-ithaca-street-into-diagon-alley/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11929209/Airbnb-offers-Halloween-night-in-Paris-Catacombs.html
http://www.stanleyhotel.com/

Michael Rooker series

“Am I allowed to get my picture taken?”
DSC00959small“I’m not allowed to pose for pictures. But just keep clicking, sweetheart.”
DSC00960small“This is rather cool. Did you make it?”
DSC00961small*Commence internal freak out*
DSC00962small*Almost died of heart attack*
DSC00963smallMichael Rooker (link to his Twitter) was super sweet when I walked up to his table at the end of the day on Sunday. There was no line, and I wasn’t buying an autograph. I asked him if he was scared of the zombies in Walking Dead, and he said “No, because I know they’re not real.” Then I asked for a photo, and got this rather interesting set of pictures. The TARDIS fluffed up again nicely after being squished. And he called me “Sweetheart”. I was blushing rather furiously after that one.

Happy Halloween!