Let's take a nostalgic look back at the '90s film and see how it became such a Halloween staple (even though it flopped).

If we were to say to you to choose a favourite horror movie, you might list off some titles like 'The Exorcist', 'The Silence of the Lambs', 'The Conjuring' or maybe even something as culty as 'Donnie Darko'. But if we were ask you your favourite Halloween movie? There's only one correct answer here (sorry 'Halloween Town'). So, come little children as we dissect why 'Hocus Pocus' is still such a Halloween trademark nearly 30 years on from its release, and why we have hope for its sequel.

It was originally a floppy floppy flop flop (kinda)

Did you know that 'Hocus Pocus' was originally released in the summer? No wonder those witches thought they were being burned alive. The US theatrical release was in July of 1993, a summer which also saw the release of the very first 'Jurassic Park', the live-action 'Super Mario Bros.' and the comedy to end all comedies, 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights'.

Unsurprisingly, releasing off-season in the States didn't prove a wise decision, and lost Disney some money in the process. It did, however, fare better overseas with an October release date attached later that year.

With pretty overwhelmingly scathing critic reviews, the film didn't come into its own until it was re-released on VHS the following year and aired on the Disney Channel around the spooky season. The arrival of Disney+ further boosted its star power, allowing fans and newcomers easy access to what quickly became a cult hit.

Are there any other witchy sisters more iconic than Winifred, Mary and Sarah?

But what is it about 'Hocus Pocus' that makes it work so well?

Well, depending on who you ask, movie fans either love it or hate it (this author is firmly in the first category).

Pop culture (and the queers) love an over-the-top heroine, and to have three of them in one film is enough to send us into overdrive. The Sanderson sisters are perfectly camp in every way, and it really is all down to the three stars giving it their all in a children's film that starts with a virgin burning a black flame candle.

Bette Midler's high-pitched and high-poofed Winifred will forever be known as one of the most complete witchy villains on screen; Sarah Michelle Gellar's Sarah might not have won Oscars but it certainly showed a vastly different side to her acting capabilities (an actor who would go on to forever be known as Carrie Bradshaw); while Kathy Najimy's Mary could very well be the origin of the live-action bumbling henchwoman (don't quote us on that one). The power of three inspired other copycats, such as 'Charmed', but let's not forget that it was Shakespeare's three Weird Sisters from 'Macbeth' that served as their inspiration.

It's also got the family factor. Let's be honest - there aren't that many spooky family films out there. Disney has always been the one to spearhead the genre (with another cult hit 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' and last year's 'Muppets Haunted Mansion'). But if you're looking for something to watch with the whole family at Halloween, there really isn't that much choice unless you've got a Disney+ subscription. Netflix has a few hits ('Nightbooks' for example) and a few duds ('Hubie Halloween') but Disney is still the reigning champion unless you've got a copy of 'Casper' on VHS somewhere in the attic.

Why make 'Hocus Pocus 2' all these years later?

Well, as you might imagine, with the original being a flop, there wasn't much interest in making a sequel. However, after years of being a cult classic, and with Halloween being a yearly tradition, it eventually entered into the mainstream. The story that captured the zeitgeist of the early '90s has been a part of mainstream media for the past 20 years or so - and rumblings of a sequel had been in the pipeline ever since.

The three stars spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the long process of getting 'Hocus Pocus 2' off the ground, and it turns out it was Midler who was the driving force behind it. 10 years on from the original film's release, she said she'd "call the studio once a year to ask, 'How about it?'" until, finally, three years ago they caved in. With Winnie on board the broomstick, it didn't take long for Sarah and Mary to follow.

But will it be worth the wait?

This is a question we've asked ourselves time and time again when a beloved franchise gets a sequel or prequel - will we hate it?

Judging from some early reactions, we might be in for a festive treat. Viewers have been saying the film "put a spell" on them without "running amuck" and ruining the original. Teasing huge laughs and plenty of throwbacks for fans, it seems like Disney might be onto a winner with this one. Please, we'll do anything to forget 'Home Sweet Home Alone' ever happened.

Now, if you need me I'll be hiding out in the graveyard until the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' superfans stop ad-libbing me to filth. It isn't all bad, is it?

Watch 'Hocus Pocus' and 'Hocus Pocus 2' (from September 30) on Disney+.