Candyman (2021) Movie Review ‘Chilling & Suspenseful’

Candyman – Chilling & Suspenseful

 

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.

StoryThe 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.

ThemesCandyman 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.

Demonic (2021) Movie Review

Demonic – Visually Challenging

 

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Writer: Neill Blomkamp (Screenplay)

Starring: Nathalie Boltt, Chris William Martin, Terry Chen, Carly Pope, Michael J Rogers

Plot: A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.


Tagline – It’s Not a Dream, It’s Not Reality

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Demonic starts when Carly (Pope) gets asked to visit her mother Angela (Boltt) in a specialist hospital where after her own incident, finds herself in a coma. To communicate with her mother, Carly must go into a virtual reality simulator to hold a conversation with her mother, opening up wounds from her past, while exposing the truth about what happened to her mother.

After going into the simulation, Carly starts to experience living nightmares from what her mother was in, with her old friend Martin (Martin) filling in more blanks, leading to Carly’s life to take a new nightmarish spin.

Thoughts on Demonic

Characters & Performances – Carly is a young woman that has had a traumatising past, she gets a chance to confront her mother who led to most of the trauma in a virtual simulator, as she is in a coma. Letting everything off her chest, Carly finds herself dealing with the nightmares from the world, not knowing what is or isn’t real anymore. Carly Pope is the strongest performer in this film, going through the complete range of emotions, as we look at her relationship with her mother. When it comes to the supporting cast we get the friends Samantha and Martin, the mother with the mysterious violent past and the doctors running the simulation. The performances are all solid, without anyone being bad, but nobody making a major impact.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman who gets to enter into an experiment simulator to confront her mother from her traumatic past. This story is an interesting concept of travelling into the past in search for answers to a moment in life somebody thought was filled with horror. The story will give Carly the walk through her past, which will take us into the world that is unexpected, which does go through the typical discovery routes we have seen before, leading to a battle we have against the evil that has been unleashed. When it comes to how the story ends up unfolding, it doesn’t end up offering anything we haven’t seen before.

ThemesDemonic is a horror movie from Neil Blomkamp that will dive into a demonic evil that is looking to be released upon the world, the special effects in the film are great, showing us the virtual simulator and the creature that gets created, which does have a unique approach to how we see the appearance.

Signature Entertainment’s Demonic opens FrightFest 26th August and is at UK Cinemas, Premium Digital 27th August and Blu-ray & DVD 25th October

Final Thoughts Demonic is a visually challenging horror, that brings a different approach to bring the shocks.