Another iconic figure of old Hollywood horror is back to entertain the audience in the country. After last week’s arrival of Michael Myers’ latest brutal action (Halloween Kills, read the review here-ed) this time it’s the hook-handed boogeyman’s turn, Candyman, in his latest film, Candyman (2021).
Forewarned, Candyman (2021) takes place some 30 years after the events of the original horror film, ignoring incidents in the sequels Farewell to the Flesh (1995) and Day of the Dead (1999), all of which starred Tony Todd as the titular villain. The new film revolves around Anthony McCoy (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a Chicago artist who becomes obsessed and haunted by the legendary Candyman from the Cabrini-Green neighborhood.
In the Candyman franchise, it is no longer a secret that the core of the story is the tragic consequences experienced by the victims when they find out that the urban legend they initially thought was just a superstition turned out to be real. This urban legend states that if a person stands in front of a mirror and says “Candyman” 5 times, he will appear and kill the summoner.
It is from this premise that this horror saga has developed into a franchise, with a focus on investigating individuals who are curious and want to know a lot about it. And, from its first appearance in 1992 until the appearance of its two sequels, the Candyman franchise has not strayed far from its original formula to make its fans coyly happy.
With regard to this new Candyman, DaCosta and his team still carry more or less the same formula. However, while removing the continuity of the two sequels from the first film, the filmmaker tries to give a new essence to this saga while at the same time paying a lot of respect to the fans of the original film. This new presentation has a different approach, tone, and treatment from the first film.
A direct sequel to the 1992 classic, Candyman 2021 tries to carve out an identity of its own as well as serve as a sequel to the original. However, the result is arguably at the crossroads of the two. As a sequel, this film does not improve on the original in any way, shape or form. And as a standalone itself, the dish raises a lot of thoughts and many questions that need to be processed further to provide a satisfying dish.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, it is clear that the creators are trying to re-polish the mythology so that it fits into their own story. And, while that’s not a complaint, the script is where the problem lies, as it seems like it doesn’t have priority resolved. It is full of too many ideas and themes and tries to cover them all in a limited runtime, resulting in a narrative that seems overly dense and undercooked.
On the plus side, DaCosta’s high visual taste makes this film have some impressive scenes. Like the scene of the death of one of the characters that looks artistic and rarely presented in many other films, while still giving the impression of horror that is needed.
The line-up also played well with what was given to them although it might have been better if they had more material to work with. The film looks and sounds solid but lacks the immersive and enthralling quality that its predecessors had.
Overall, Candyman is like the recent Halloween reboot Blumhouse made. Candyman is able to take its classic film formula and turn it into something new while significant to today’s reality.
It elaborates further on some of the elements told from the first film, while also being moderately entertaining, sharp (in terms of alluding to today’s social issues-ed), and able to maintain an aura of horror. The main minus is that at times the film feels a little too derivative of the original, and the slightly distracting editing (jumping into other characters-ed) can make the story a bit awkward – but every scene works as intended. In the end, Candyman isn’t perfect. – but that’s how reboots are supposed to be, and arguably one of the best reboots ever made. It may not be the most original, but it is very unique.
Candyman movie can be seen in cinemas in the country