Director: Nia DaCosta
Writer: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Characters)
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Kyle Kaminsky, Vanessa Williams
Plot: A “spiritual sequel” to the horror film Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighbourhood where the legend began.
Tagline – Dare to Say His Name.
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Candyman starts as we meet artist Anthony McCoy (Abdul-Mateen II) who has been struggling with his latest work, while his girlfriend Brianna Cartwright (Parris) is looking to prepare the latest exhibit at the gallery that made him known in the world.
Anthony learns of a legend, the legend of Candyman, which will see him looking into the mystery around Cabrini Towers, with him letting loose the Candyman upon the world again.
Thoughts on Candyman
Characters & Performances – Anthony McCoy is a struggling artist that is looking for his latest inspiration, he starts to look into the myth of Candyman, diving deeper into what once created this legend, before he finds himself becoming consumed by the myth itself. While Anthony isn’t the most likeable character, being the starving artist figure who doesn’t seem to care about his medical condition, it is a wonderful performance from Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, letting the consummation take over his life. Brianna Cartwright is the successful partner of Anthony’s, she has worked her way up in the art world. She is by far the smartest character in this movie, she isn’t playing the Candyman game, she refuses to go into dark empty basements, she is brilliant. Teyonah Parris is great too, with her performance being the most realistic figure in the film. The film will give us the art world figures that appear, while most of these will fall into the generic roles, the mean critic, the sleezy gallery owner, the desperate to make it intern, they come off flat compared to the rest of the cast. The family and friends get some of the funnier lines, but at times feel underused for the full film, while the man with the answers played by Colman Domingo has a brilliant storytelling voice.
Story – The story here picks up in the present day, where a struggle artist looks for inspiration in the variation of the Candyman story, diving deeper in the story behind where he came from, uncovering the truth that will open the eyes to what he has been all about, all these years. This story will look to bring actions to the forefront, with how the Candyman was created in the first place, while respecting the story from the original 1992 version of the story. The only true weakness in the story comes from the diving into the art world, it shows most of the people within the world to be very self-centred with bigger egos than achievements. The balance between the pure message and the scares does feel balanced well, unlike other films we have seen try to put over a bigger message in the horror world.
Themes – Candyman is a horror film that doesn’t hold back on the violent kills, the suspense is there for the most part, with a couple of very unique ways to present the attacks. There is one sequences that does feel out of place for the whole film, but when it comes to the core story, we get plenty of mythology behind Candyman coming through. The locations used are shown to see the changes in the neighbourhood since the 1992 version of the film.
Final Thoughts – Candyman is a brilliant sequel, the best in the long awaited horror world of sequels.