Candyman (2021)

candyman poster 2021 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid sequel/relaunch

Story could have been streamlined a bit more especially in regards to the characters

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Candyman

Studio:  Universal Pictures/MGM/BRON Studios

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 22, 2021 (S.O.U.L. Fest)/August 27, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

candyman 2021 art gallery

You call him, he comes

Artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya-Abdul Mateen II) is looking for new inspiration and has started to look into urban decay, renewal, and gentrification…and he finds the Candyman.  Learning the story from Billy Burke (Colman Domingo), Anthony gets more and more pulled into his project, people begin to die.  Anthony discovers that his ties to the legend might not be as distant as he thought…and his girlfriend Bri Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) finds that sometimes legends are true.

Directed by Nia DaCosta, Candyman is a horror thriller.  Following Candyman 3:  Day of the Dead in 1999, the film is a sequel to the original Candyman from 1992. It was scheduled for release in June 2020 but pushed back to August 27, 2021 due to COVID-19.  It received positive reviews.

I loved the original Candyman…it was a fun slasher movie with jump scares, a bit of a message, and a late entry to the already dying slasher craze of the 1980s.  The movie sullied itself with its sequels (though Candyman:  Farewell to the Flesh in 1995 did further expand the lore which is used for this story).  Candyman with Jordan Peele producing promised to be a return to horror that the series needed…and it largely succeeds.

candyman 2021 girls summon mirror

Tell someone not to do something…someone will do it

The story is part of the popular trend of a soft relaunch.  While it is a sequel, you don’t really need to see the original Candyman to enjoy it…but those who have seen the original Candyman get the extra joy of figuring out how the two stories are tied together.  It seems a bit obvious at points, but the creeping terror and social commentary (which is also kind of predictable) does tie together well with themes of the movie and the original film…with a solid dose of slasher horror (in un-ironic fashion which isn’t always the case today).

The cast is good.  It does kind of start to leave Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s story near the end as he becomes increasingly unhinged, and I feel that he was the link of the story.  Teyonah Parris’s character needed a little more development as she takes over the storyline, and I wish in that sense that the story was a little more balanced for both of their characters.  Colman Domingo is both the storyteller (by relaying the story of Candyman) and the heavy of the movie.  The film features the return of Vanessa Williams and Tony Todd to link back to the original movie and some imagery of Virginia Madsen.

candyman 2021 tony todd ending original

The original and still the best

The movie does a decent job building the scares.  Candyman is such a strong tie to urban legends and the urban legend of Bloody Mary is scary because anyone can do it anywhere there is a reflection.  In addition, mirrors are always great psychological tools for movie and storytelling.  This combines with the changes in the former Cabrini-Green neighborhood which factors in so heavily in the original film.

Candyman has its faults and could have been even better if it was a little cleaned-up and toned in its plot.  The movie still is a nice strong sequel (better than the original sequels) by someone who obviously respects the original material.  The film looks at the changes in time since the original and how society has changed (or sometimes sadly how it has remained the same)…and it does leave open room for sequels.  Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candym—

Related Links:

Candyman (1992)

Candyman:  Farewell to the Flesh (1995)

Candyman 3:  Day of the Dead (1999)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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