Hocus Pocus is arguably the greatest Halloween movie of all time — including John Carpenter’s slasher classic, which is both set on and named after the holiday. Released all the way back in 1993, the film just seems to get better and better with age. So much so, in fact, that there’s a TV station dedicated to playing just it all day on Halloween each year. Watching the same movie over and over for 24 hours straight seems like a chore, but Hocus Pocus isn’t just any movie.
Unlike the classic eighties kids’ horror/action movies like Ghostbusters or Back to the Future, Kenny Ortega’s festive flick is beloved by a predominantly female audience. This is mostly down to its three bad-ass female leads. Also, crucially, the Sanderson sisters are never out-and-out villains, which makes their lovable characters burn even brighter in our memories. The years have been kind to Hocus Pocus. Have they treated its wonderful cast as well?
Omri Katz (Max)
Hollywood, aka Max Dennison, is the dreamy, er, virginal lead of Hocus Pocus. He sets everything in motion on that fateful night, in a bid to impress his crush, but Max thankfully doesn’t let his Californian, laid-back, tie-dyed point of view stop him from saving the day. Funnily enough, actor Omri Katz, who didn’t grow up to be quite as dreamy as Max (sorry, Omri), was actually the most well-known of all the kids prior to shooting the movie.
His career stalled in the aftermath, however, with his last role to date (at the time of writing) in 2002 short movie Journey Into Night. Katz worked frequently in the years prior to Hocus Pocus, though; his IMDb is loaded with parts in the likes of General Hospital, The John Larroquette Show, and even beloved high school dramedy Freaks and Geeks, which launched the careers of James Franco and Seth Rogen, among others. Katz reunited with Hocus Pocus co-stars Thora Birch (Dani) and Vinessa Shaw (Allison) back in 2015, documenting the heartwarming results on Instagram (naturally, their meetup took place on Halloween).
Vinessa Shaw (Allison)
Vinessa Shaw had already made a name for herself prior to stealing Max’s heart in Hocus Pocus (she was one of the Ladybugs!) but the spooky family film was her big break. Shaw told Express in the U.K. that fans still frequently call her Allison but, “thankfully, they keep the ‘Yabbos’ comment to themselves.” Shaw has enjoyed a lengthy and varied career, appearing in horror remake The Hills Have Eyes, western remake 3:10 To Yuma opposite Russell Crowe, as well as a recurring role in hit TV series Ray Donovan.
The actress often posts throwbacks to Hocus Pocus on her Instagram, and even joked that she should have used a meme of the three witches to announce her pregnancy. On the movie’s staying power, she told Express, “I don’t think any of us had any idea of the magnitude of how popular it would be. It just goes to show that when you are young you watch things over and over again and it gets in your head, and just sticks.”
Thora Birch (Dani)
Thora Birch was just 11 when she appeared in Hocus Pocus. Her career launched into the stratosphere afterwards, with the young actress landing parts in diverse projects ranging from Brit cult horror The Hole alongside a then-virtually-unknown Keira Knightley, to Oscar-winning drama American Beauty. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, however, as a 2014 sit-down with The Guardian made uncomfortably clear.
When it’s suggested Birch stepped out of the spotlight, the actress snaps, “I didn’t step back. I was always working, it’s just that no one was paying attention.” The precise reasons for Birch’s career shift remain unclear, but there have been rumors that her father and sometime-manager, Jack Birch, interfered with her career and may have even been a bullying presence onset (something that is also touched on in the Guardian piece).
Still, a cursory glance at Birch’s IMDb page confirms that, thankfully, Hollywood isn’t done with her just yet. She even has a couple producer credits to her name, signalling a desire to take more control of her career.
Read More: https://www.thelist.com/135570/the-cast-of-hocus-pocus-has-changed-a-lot-since-1993/?utm_campaign=clip