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Candyman (2021)

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Candyman (2021)
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Genre: Horror
Thriller
Directed By: Nia DaCosta
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Teyonah Parris
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Colman Domingo
Kyle Kaminsky
Vanessa Estelle Williams
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Franchise: Candyman


Candyman is a 2021 supernatural slasher film directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and DaCosta. The film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name and the fourth overall film in the Candyman film series, based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker.

Summary

Anthony McCoy and his partner, Brianna Cartwright, move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini where they soon learn of a terrifying legend of the infamous ghost of a hook-handed killer.

Good Qualities

  1. It is a very nice follow-up to its 1992 predecessor and handles being in the more modern Chicago nicely.
  2. Likable and interesting characters, such as Anthony McCoy, a photographer curious about the Candyman story, who was also the baby/near-victim in the 1992 film.
  3. The death scenes are gory and bloody and decently well-done.
  4. The idea of making a photographer/inspiring artist, who happens to be connected to the first film, wonders dive deeper into the tragic story of Candyman is intriguing.
  5. Michael Hargrove gives a pretty good performance as the titular character.
    • Even though he doesn’t return physically, Tony Todd still provides the voice of Candyman and does an amazing job at it.
  6. For a sequel that’s 29 years apart, there are no continuity errors and there are some call-backs to starting the film of the franchise.
  7. Nia DaCosta has shown to have some great skills as a director for this film and Jordan Peele (one of the writers) wrote out the story very well too.
  8. Some very nice use of mirrors, reflections, and bees.
  9. Most of the special effects (especially Anthony's decaying hand transformation) are effective to be both believable and scary.
  10. The idea of there being more than one, Candyman, who has died because of racist profiling or some kind of tragedy, is creative and makes the urban legend motif more believable.
  11. The opening logo variants are cool, with the Universal, MGM, Bron Studios and Monkeypaw logos mirrored in order to make a reference to saying Candyman five times.

Bad Qualities

  1. The fact that Tony Todd didn’t get to perform as Candyman (other than the ending) left most fans in disappointment.
  2. Many annoying and/or underdeveloped characters:
    • Anthony is often bland at times.
    • Troy is overly talkative and obnoxious, and his boyfriend, Grady, is a nothing character.
    • Clive and his girlfriend, Jerrica, are irritating, stupid, one-dimensional African-American heterosexual caricatures.
    • Even though he is a major antagonist in the third act, Billy Burke is undeveloped and is barely in the movie until the finale.
  3. The film tirelessly makes the two versions of Candymens as obliviously tragic, when their villainous side makes it hard to not sympathize:
    • Candyman is painted as a hero, even though he murders people when they say his name 5 times.
    • It's difficult to feel sympathy for the murder of Sherman Fields (who later becomes the recent version of the Candyman). A kid screaming underground at a creepy (and very possibly mentally ill) man, Sherman, crawling out of a hole through a wall, having a hook on his hand, and offering candy to the kid, Billy, seems very predatory and suspicious.
  4. The third act is insanely stupid. Billy randomly becomes the main villain and turns Anthony into another Candyman after he kidnapped Brianna and tied her up. There is no character progression here, and the setup is ridiculous.
  5. Poor writing decision: Anthony gets stung by a bee before saying Candyman's name 5 times, and then his skin proggresively decomposes and rots. A simple way to fix this would be to have him say Candyman's name 5 times and then get stung.
  6. The dialogue and writing are almost hammy or unnatural.
  7. Pointless filler scenes:
    • The scene where the high school teens get killed in the bathroom is unnecessary, and comes off as a scene to put into the trailers.
    • The flashback where Billy's sister and a friend are killed after saying Candyman doesn't add anything and could've been cut out.
  8. Minor plot holes:
    • When Jerrica and Clive are having sex, Jerrica is the only one who says Candyman 5 times in the mirror. That means that only she should be killed. However, Clive is killed as well.
    • At the end when Brianna says Candyman in the mirror, she says it 4 times and the cop says it once, causing Candyman to appear. Why not just have Brianna say it 5 times?
  9. The editing between scenes is mediocre.
  10. The film's main political theme becomes increasingly noticeable with each act, which can turn off non-politically horror viewers, such as:
    • Every cop is presented as evil and corrupt, even though:
      • However it's understandable, as they would shoot a guy who's acting strange and predatory towards a kid in a vacant room, instead of sending him to the area's psychic hospital.
      • It's another example of how this movie portrays almost everything as politically black and white, with no grey area in between to be realistic and understandable.

Reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 84% of 319 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.30/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Candyman takes an incisive, visually thrilling approach to deepening the franchise's mythology—and terrifying audiences along the way." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100 based on 54 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported 72% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 56% saying they would recommend it.

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