It’s recently come to my attention that some people haven’t seen the greatest Halloween movie of all time. No, it’s not a slasher flick or anything that relies too heavily on jump scares. I’m talking about the 1993 masterpiece “Hocus Pocus.”
If you haven’t seen it, consider yourself forgiven. I know not everybody gets as excited for Halloween as I do (and not everybody has making pumpkin spice cake pops and mummy cocktail weenies on their to-do list, as I do right now).
For the uninitiated, “Hocus Pocus” follows a trio of witches who are brought back to life in Salem, MA, on Halloween and set out to collect the souls of neighborhood kids so they can stay alive. Sounds like a fun time, right?
If you don’t have time to fit in a viewing before Halloween, never fear. (I’m sure many of you are packing your bags for the LeadingAge convention — if you’re there, come say hi to the McKnight’s team at both 2340.) Los Angeles-based senior volunteer program “Tuesdays with Matthew” is here to fill the Hocus Pocus-shaped void in your heart.
The program helps seniors recreate scenes from famous movies — costumes, wigs and all — and films some of them to share on the internet.
“These videos will hopefully also take advantage of the opportunity to further help not just the scene-iors I work with, but seniors I perhaps will never meet,” group leader Matthew Hoffman writes on the Tuesdays with Matthew website.
The group made headlines last year with their recreation of “Hocus Pocus,” starring actors in their 70s, 80s and 90s. It even earned praise from original cast member Kathy Najimy, who said online that “of the thousands” of recreations of the film out there, the seniors won — “game over.” The video somehow slipped past my radar until recently, when it was shared on Twitter by the National Association of Activity Professionals.
It’s a lighthearted bit of Halloween fun, to be sure. But the clip also serves a greater purpose — 100% of the money the Tuesdays with Matthew videos bring in through YouTube ad views goes to Meals on Wheels. It’s also not a bad idea to replicate the re-creations in your own facility, for a bit of positive publicity and a fun way to get residents engaged in a creative activity.
“My goal is to help prove old is the new young — and sometimes the last act can be the best.”
Follow Staff Writer Emily Mongan @emmongan.