Pretty awfully acted with dull human characters & too light a score for serious consideration as a film, but funny & saved by the witches’ convincing character-acting, H.P. is serviceable [mindless] kids’ Halloween diversion. 5.2/10.
After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Most Memorable Moment: 1. “Come little children” song, 2. Trick-or-treating at “devil”‘s house
Pros: Good opening and catchy theme – as well as surprising macabre by Disney with things extracting the life force from children or transforming them against their will to unrecognizeable animals, serviceable comedy in the idea of people from centuries past learning how to dealsaved barely by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy’s believable and well-character-acted witch sisters – undeniably the highlight here
Cons: Besides the main sisters – the rest of the acting is pretty awful, score is too light for a halloween movie – even by Disne’ys standards, subpar CGI, gets cheesy with the musical numbers
Overall Rating: 5.6/10