Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Candyman Review: A Stylish Successor To The 90s Horror Film

Directed by  Nia DaCosta	Writing Credits   Jordan Peele	...	(screenplay by) & Win Rosenfeld	...	(screenplay by) and Nia DaCosta	...	(screenplay by)   Bernard Rose	...	(based on the 1992 film "Candyman" written by)   Clive Barker	...	(characters)Cast (in credits order)   Yahya Abdul-Mateen II	Yahya Abdul-Mateen II	...	Anthony McCoy Teyonah Parris	Teyonah Parris	...	Brianna Cartwright Nathan Stewart-Jarrett	Nathan Stewart-Jarrett	...	Troy Cartwright Colman Domingo	Colman Domingo	...	William Burke Kyle Kaminsky	Kyle Kaminsky	...	Grady Cartwright Vanessa Williams	Vanessa Williams	...	Anne-Marie McCoy Rebecca Spence	Rebecca Spence	...	Finley Stephens Carl Clemons-Hopkins	Carl Clemons-Hopkins	...	Jameson Brian King	Brian King	...	Clive Privler Miriam Moss	Miriam Moss	...	Jerrica Cooper Cassie Kramer	Cassie Kramer	...	Librarian Mark Montgomery	Mark Montgomery	...	Det. Lipez Genesis Denise Hale	Genesis Denise Hale	...	Sabrina Rodney L Jones III	Rodney L Jones III	...	Billy Pamela Jones	Pamela Jones	...	Devlin Sharpe Hannah Love Jones	Hannah Love Jones	...	Young Brianna Cedric Mays	Cedric Mays	...	Gil Cartwright Tony Todd	Tony Todd	...	Daniel Robitaille / Candyman Heidi Grace Engerman	Heidi Grace Engerman	...	Haley Gulick Christiana Clark	Christiana Clark	...	Danielle Harrington Torrey Hanson	Torrey Hanson	...	Jack Hyde Tien Tran	Tien Tran	...	Jane Ji Alec Silver	Alec Silver	...	Restaurant Server

Release date: August 27, 2021
Running time: 91 minutes
Director: Nia DaCosta
Screenplay by: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and Nia DaCosta 
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo

For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.  But does the ghost still exist even though the neighborhood has changed?

Sarah Wisterman	...	Celine Malic White	Malic White	...	Boof Sarah Lo	Sarah Lo	...	Samantha Breanna Lind	Breanna Lind	...	Annika Ireon Roach	Ireon Roach	...	Trina J. Nicole Brooks	J. Nicole Brooks	...	Dr. Collins Nancy Pender	Nancy Pender	...	TV News Anchor Mike Geraghty	Mike Geraghty	...	Police Officer #1 Nadia Simms	Nadia Simms	...	Ringleader Michael Hargrove	Michael Hargrove	...	Sherman Fields Jazlynn Givens	Jazlynn Givens	...	Archival Footage Girl #1 Breje Odom	Breje Odom	...	Archival Footage Girl #2 Chandlyr Davis	Chandlyr Davis	...	Archival Footage Girl #3 Danica Von Kampen	Danica Von Kampen	...	Archival Footage Girl #4 Teslyn Johnson	Teslyn Johnson	...	Archival Footage Girl #5 Teagan Crostreet	Teagan Crostreet	...	Archival Footage Girl #6 Avery Moss	Avery Moss	...	Archival Footage Girl #7 Graham Carlson	Graham Carlson	...	Archival Footage Boy #1
Candyman is Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta's reimagining of the classic horror film and wow am I glad they got a hold of this.  The new version drips with style right from the start.  In fact, the film starts with a mirror world type feel with the splash screen shown backwards.  And the text in the sequence is the stylized Candyman text that evokes a papercraft feel that will make sense later in the film.  The opening has hints of a mirror world and the bee theme of Candyman by showing upside down buildings and things that look like hives.  Candyman also has some really great sequences showing paper cut out storytelling to both give it a classic feel and feels very fresh.  The movie also has some great music and moves the legend more towards a social justice message, both of which give the film a decidedly more modern feel.    

And the film has a nice slow buildup, like every good horror movie should.  It takes its time to set the stage and really lay the framework for the legend, giving the audience plenty of background.  But that's not to say that the film gives all the secrets away during the buildup, there are still revelations that occur throughout.  And the film is just a good horror movie through and through, from the slow buildup to the brutal effects.  There isn't a lot of gore, but when it's there, it is very well done with solid practical effects to ensure that everything looks as real as possible.  

However, although Candyman is a fresh reimagining of the story, it feels a little incomplete.  The rules for the killer seem simple at first, but don't necessarily conform as the movie progresses.  And I absolutely loved the social justice focus for Candyman; it seems like a great way to use horror, but it doesn't feel like it is fully realized.  It feels like an important message and one that should be explored, but melding it with this existing Candyman property didn't seem to mesh.  And finally, there were some weird reactions to the Candyman kills that just felt a little off.  I will say that apparently seeing the 1992 Candyman helps a lot with the comprehension, but as I hadn't seen it there was some story confusion for me. 

Candyman is a fresh take on the classic horror film that is dripping with both style and blood, and a focus on social justice that uses horror to impart an important message.

Watch it.

Nicholas Russell	...	Archival Footage Boy #2 Logan Vosburgh	Logan Vosburgh	...	Archival Footage Boy #3 Brandon Pelayo	Brandon Pelayo	...	Archival Footage Boy #4 Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Antwan Eilish	Antwan Eilish	...	Lucas Dan Fierro	Dan Fierro	...	Officer Rooney Evan J. Simpson	Evan J. Simpson		 Dominica Strong	Dominica Strong	...	Cabrini Green Resident Aaron Crippen	Aaron Crippen	...	Officer Smith (uncredited) Jeff Dlugolecki	Jeff Dlugolecki	...	Neighbor (uncredited) Michael Oilar	Michael Oilar	...	Pedestrian (uncredited) Ashland Thomas	Ashland Thomas	...	Night Crawler Patron (uncredited) Matthew J. Valadez	Matthew J. Valadez	...	Driver in the Rain During Gallery Killing (uncredited) Hans Dieter Wolff	Hans Dieter Wolff	...	European tourist (uncredi
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Candyman is in theaters on August 27, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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