‘Candyman’: a very confusing horror film | LIFE + ARTS
As Halloween approaches the end of the month, the best way to get into the spooky spirit is to catch up with some recently released horror movies. The recent version of “Candyman” hit theaters at the perfect time, but I doubt that scares you much.
The story follows artist Anthony McCoy as he turns to Cabrini-Green, a gentrified neighborhood of housing developments in Chicago, for inspiration from his new art exhibit. McCoy then meets William Burke, a longtime resident of Cabrini-Green who shares the legend of the Candyman neighborhood. The legend of Candyman says that if you say his name five times in the mirror, he will seem to kill you. When Mcoy shows his art exhibit, he realizes he’s brought Candyman back. The film follows McCoy’s complicated fate of releasing Candyman into Caprini-Green and all of the aftermath that follows.
But it turns out that this 2021 version of “Candyman” is a partial sequel to the original 1992 version of this story. The original story was written and directed by a white man, but stars black actors and is seen as a pivotal moment for portraying blacks in the horror genre.
This semi-sequel was directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by herself, Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld. All of these names have been directly linked to horror films that focus on portraying black people. But “Candyman” certainly doesn’t compare to big-name movies like “Get Out” or “Us,” both of which were written and directed by Peele himself.
The premise of “Candyman” was interesting, but after going through the 90-minute thriller, it seemed like the trailer was more exciting than the movie itself. The plot of the film seemed to address too many different political issues and couldn’t tie them together properly. The legend of Candyman was that he was this figure who has been perpetually tortured by whites throughout history and seeks revenge on whoever invokes him. The film opens with Sherman Fields who was known to distribute candy around Caprini-Green, but there were pieces that contained razor blades, which prompted the police to hunt him down and beat him up. that it is unrecognizable. But even after his sudden death, there were still razor blades in candy circulating around town and Fields took on the role of Candyman in his afterlife.
It seemed DaCosta was trying to make “Candyman” a metaphor for white violence, police brutality, gentrification, and generational trauma. But it was too much and too difficult to follow in the short duration of the film. If she had focused on a particular problem and held onto it throughout the film, it would have had more impact. All the ingredients to make a great horror movie that has a meaningful message were in “Candyman”; the story did not turn out correctly.
The 2021 version of “Candyman” not only lacked meaning and meaning, it also lacked a horror department. There were some very horrific parts of the movie where people who called her name five times were brutally murdered, but that was about it. Candyman didn’t really seem like a terrifying character. There were few moments of suspense, but each little moment of fear was quickly over with predictability.
If you are looking for a really terrifying movie to kick off your Halloween season, I would look in the opposite direction to “Candyman”. But if you’re less interested in being afraid and more interested in trying to figure out a movie, “Candyman” is the perfect movie for you.
This is the opinion of Cerys Davies, a sophomore journalism student in Monterey Park, Calif. Email your comments to [email protected]. Follow and tweet comments on @LALoyolan on Twitter, and like Loyolan on Facebook.