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91 min.
Nia DaCosta
Thriller, Horror
Rating *
Votes *
3.8% (1:26)
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. epicureanlotus's avatar


    2021's Candyman is not a remake but a sequel to the 1992 original, and it just does so many things well.

    First and foremost, the cinematography is simply gorgeous—inventive and captivating in almost every scene—and that alone makes the film well worth a watch. In addition, writer-producer Jordan Peele did a fantastic job with the characters, who are both compelling and nuanced, and the script manages to develop these characters in such a thorough yet natural way, without beating the audience over the head with exposition as many plot-forward movies do. And I really liked how up-and-coming director Nia DaCosta brought back so many actors and characters from the first film and then used them meaningfully instead of just making them feel like throwaway cameos, like many big-budget Hollywood movies seem to do these days.

    Most of all, however, I liked how the movie builds upon the original yet was unafraid to venture into new territory and to update the story for the 21st century. Both Candyman films are really about the horrors of racial capitalism, but while the first filtered the story through the lens of a white woman (whose character was trying to "appreciate" black culture at the same time she was profiting from it under the guise of academia), the sequel was directed by, written by, and stars black talent, and is very much a film told through the experience of blackness. In this film, it's always the white characters who are so foolish as to summon the Candyman, while the black characters wonder "Who would do such a stupid thing?" or nope out when they see a dark scary passage—after all, they weren't raised with the privilege of lacking common sense. And the moment when Teyonah Parris's character realises that her career is being advanced only because her story is marketable (due to the public interest in her father and her boyfriend, two black men) is a subtle yet powerful one indeed, and a feeling that many black women caught between the intersectionality of racism and patriarchy can well relate to. There are many moments like this, and the film touches upon so many important themes: gentrification, the commodification of the black experience, police violence and institutionalised racism, and the way that white people use their power to shape the public narrative, among others.

    This is not to say that the new Candyman is a perfect film, by any means. The plot leaves a few unanswered questions spoiler, and although I liked how efficient the storytelling was, I would really have liked to see a bit more. (In particular, I wish Troy had been given more screen time...he was by far my favourite character!) Furthermore, I would say that this film is less outright "scary" than the original, as it trades much of the 1992 film's tense atmosphere and jump scares for gory body horror and the intellectual horror of being black in America today. Perhaps the film also suffers a little in the fright department from not following a single character who is terrorised by the Candyman like Helen in the original, someone the audience can latch on to and empathise with, but instead splits its focus between two main characters, one of whom isn't very likeable. Overall, I feel similarly (albeit to a lesser extent) to how I felt after watching Peele's 2019 film Us: there are so many brilliant ideas, and so much creepy potential, but it's usually scarier not to see the monster than to see it so often, and it's usually better to under-explain than to over-explain, and I kind of wished that the Candyman sequel had promoted the idea that there can be multiple coexisting interpretations of the urban legend of the Candyman, which is what it seemed to be going for at the beginning of the film, rather than trying to tie everything together with complicated explanations by the end.

    Still, this film is far from the "dud" that IMDb and the other commentator here would have you believe!
    2 years 6 months ago
  2. Siskoid's avatar


    So this comes from someone who hasn't seen the original Candyman, but liked 2021's sequel... Seems the main gripe fans have with the movie is that it too obviously checkmarks the story being about gentrification. I have a different take. All the horror buffs talk about the original Candyman being about that, so we can just take it as received wisdom and move on. The new movie expands the theme to include all manner of APPROPRIATION, which may, if you like, include the director's own anxiety at taking on an old franchise and making it her own. So yes, white people are scamming housing off the poor (along racial lines), using black art to elevate their own standing in the art world, cultural appropriation, etc., but there's the other side of appropriation too - each generation making the story of Candyman their own (quite literally), and the "monster"'s own endgame using a stolen baby. I will say the last pieces of the puzzle are less interesting than the lore that comes before it, but between the thematic underpinnings and the gorgeous mirror shots, mystical architecture (Chicago is certainly well used) and striking shadow puppet flashbacks forcing you to stay until the end of the credits, I think there's enough there to recommend Candyman (2021) unto itself. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris (now of Aquaman and WandaVision fame, respectively) are great leads in any case, with Nathan Stewart-Jarrett providing some fun comic moments in an otherwise tense film. 2 years 8 months ago
  3. Warrison's avatar


    For me it felt like an origins story. Using that lens, I enjoyed it. 2 years 7 months ago
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