Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Candyman (2021, Nia DaCosta)


First off the new Candyman movie is a sequel, not a remake. I’m not sure if the advertising campaign made that clear, yet if one views the new flick l they will witness obvious connections to the first movie. I also slightly prefer the new one over the original, although I do also love the original. Both are fantastic and contribute to modern horror cinema, although I’ll grudgingly admit the 1990s are now three decades ago. Time sure flies.

Nia DaCosta does a fine job of linking Candyman to the horrors of the past, as showcased in extremely freaky puppet show display flashbacks. According to the latest movie, Candyman is powered by victims of extreme brutality and hatred, yet of course also relies on people foolish enough to say his name. Those who don’t believe in his legend do so at their own peril.

In the case of young artist Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris), they discover that Candyman is very real. Anthony becomes obsessed with the urban myth, even going so far as to interview a local man (Colman Domingo) about Candyman and also creating paintings inspired by his research. The new Candyman works by mostly walking the fine line between social commentary and being really creepy, and is mostly successful.

Some parts are too heavy handed-one scene happens in a bathroom and it doesn’t take a genius to guess what happens next. Also the last act is a bit sloppy in that regard, and I’m not sure that’s how I would have ended the movie. However I chucked at Brianna refusing to go down into a dark basement, and one kill scene begins with a fantastic mirror shot. I will admit this film deserves a longer review, possibly an essay.

Hang around for the credits, that’s for sure. I remember Shudder’s Twitter account bravely asserting that horror is political, and they have a point. Some of my all time favorite horror movies are political and deal with social economic issues. Candyman (2021) is a fine addition to that line of work, and I’m glad I saw it on the big screen. It’s nice to support modern horror sometimes.

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995, Bill Condon)


Woof that title is a mouthful. I loved the 1992 Candyman and so I decided to check out the sequel before it expired on Tubi. While the sequel is not as good as the first classic flick, Tony Todd remains creepy and menacing as ever in the title role. Also the New Orleans’ location is a nice eerie setting for the film’s events. Does Todd utter poetic lines full of death and despair still? Yep. Is the main female lead destined to watch loved ones get slaughtered right in front of her? Absolutely. Roll film.

Annie (Kelly Rowan) ends up investigating the Candyman legend because of her brother and her deceased father. Trying to uncover the truth she of course ends up summoning Candyman because no one in these movies believes he exists until it’s too late. Cue more gore and bees showing up. We even get a historical flashback thrown in for good measure. I’m a sucker for those.

I’m not sure if I care to watch the third film, however I am excited about the upcoming remake, which could breathe new life into the franchise. These movies are very 1990s which is both a good and a bad thing. Oh and I liked seeing veterans Veronica Cartwright and Bill Nunn popping up in the movie. One thing I’ve learned and which this move leans heavily on is that kids are always creepy no matter what in a horror movie. Even if they are on your side.

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