‘Candyman’ Review: A Bittersweet Take On The Classic

Candyman has haunted the homes of most 90s kids ever since Tony Todd jumped on the big screen in 1992 with a hook on his hand. With the two films: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh & Candyman: Day of the Dead losing their quality & substance, it was no surprise that fans of the original were cautious about Nia DaCosta’s spiritual sequel hitting the big screen.

So what is this new Candyman about? It follows Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a struggling artist living with his girlfriend, Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris). When Brianna’s brother (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) comes over to visit Brianna & Anthony, he introduces them to the Candyman lore, which causes Anthony to dig into the history of Candyman, which takes him down the path of blood, inherited curses & uncovering secrets of his past.

Candyman does not surround itself in jump scares or much of Candyman. There were times where I forgot that this was a Candyman film because there was too much circling the lore that the original brought & not enough getting into what made the first film work. The film focused heavily on racism & injustice, which is okay for a movie about a spirit that murders people who say his name five times. Honestly, Peele & DaCosta would’ve been better off building a story around an original character than making this a spiritual sequel to the 1992 film.

Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld wrote the script & it shows because, at times, the story felt like it was losing itself. There was a scene where a young girl shows up early on in the film at Anthony’s show in the art gallery & takes a picture of his work only to appear towards the end of the movie with her friends to say the Candyman’s name. Why not have the follow-up scene with the girl occur the day after she saw Anthony’s work? Also, the story kept tiptoeing around Brianna’s past connecting to the Candyman but never fully explored it.

It was an interesting spin on the original because they made Candyman a disease that spreads & chooses which host he wants to inherit his curse or title; however, the writers didn’t fully understand or decided not to stick with the story built around Daniel Robitaille/Candyman which is why the story felt unfamiliar & distant to fans that appreciated the original. This felt more like a soft reboot than a spiritual sequel. One of the good things about this film was Nathan Stewart-Jarrett & the comedy he brought to the film.

DaCosta’s Candyman took a chance at following a cult classic but dropped it by not having a grounded story & by injecting throwing racism at the moviegoers around every other corner.

Candyman Review

6

6.0/10

Pros

  • Nathan Stewart-Jarrett carried the film & he was barely in it

Cons

  • Felt more like a reboot than a spiritual sequel
  • The story was all over the place
  • The pacing was off
  • Overlooked the lore & focused too much on racism

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