Candyman: Film Review
By Karissa Meno
Candyman (2021) a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Monkeypaw Production, and Bron Creative Production.
•Director: Nia DaCosta. •Producers: Ian Cooper, Win Rosenfeld, and Jordan Peele.
•Cast: Tony Todd (Candyman), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Anthony McCoy), Teyonah Parris (Brianna Cartwright), Coleman Domingo (William Burke), Nathan Stewart Jarrett (Troy Cartwright), and Vanessa Estelle Williams (Anne-Marie McCoy)
I started off my Saturday night with the sequel to the original 1992 Candyman. This movie gave me high hopes but I started to slowly become less and less invested. The movie did have some ominous visuals, and great paper-craft like puppet storytelling. The plot and story of the movie were very clear laying all out on the table, but the movie itself was still missing something. The movie did not give me that horror and suspense that I was looking for. The gore scenes were pretty eventful, but not as horrifying as I wished.
The movie begins with a puppet show recap of the 1992 Candyman with Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen, the story of Helen becoming insane and taking baby Anthony into a giant bonfire under the attack and terrorism of Candyman (Tony Todd). This is the story of Anthony McCoy, a struggling painter who finds inspiration from his girlfriend Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) and her brother Troy Cartwright (Nathan Stewart Jarretr) and the story of Helen and Candyman one night as they all drank together. Anthony gets inspiration from the neighborhood where Candyman was originally found or where he lives.
This movie tries to involve the arts like painting along with the story of Candyman; that just doesn’t sit right. The movie does, however, make a clear reference to the mirror scene in the original, showing what’s behind the mirror. Much of Anthony’s story relates to much of Helen’s story, but instead of being a more eventful story, Anthony’s story feels more like trying your best to make a five paragraph essay sound smart without any background information. I found that the original provided a more eventful story than the sequel did.
The movie shows the slow process of the transformation for Anthony to become Candyman himself. Even if the Candyman story didn’t make sense, how simple it is to turn a normal person into a bee-infested, hook-for-a-hand killer doesn’t make sense. Anthony starts his research on Candyman at the abandoned building where the 1992 Candyman was set, and at an almost-always-empty laundromat, Anthony runs into William Burke (Colman Domingo) who explains to Anthony the story of his run-in with Candyman. Anthony is having trouble creating new paintings to express his racially-involved emotions. With his piece of a mirror with a description of how to “summon” Candyman, many people follow with this “legend” or “rumor,” with both a couple and a few teenage girls being slaughtered in the bathroom. During this, Anthony continues his research on Candyman in what seems to be a library with a chilling and horrific elevator scene.
Throughout the movie, we see the process that Anthony and Helen both experience with the terrorism of Candyman, as we watch Anthony become horrifically involved with Candyman affecting his relationship with Brianna and causing her to leave. Later, Brianna converses with her brother Troy as he convinces her to go to Anthony. On her way to see Anthony she is taken as the sacrifice for Anthony to become the Candyman. Resulting in a very fatal and mysterious ending.
This movie isn’t slow-paced, but is still uneventful. The horrific and halfway suspenseful scenes are fun to look at but were not keeping me on the edge of my seat. Even the ending felt unnecessary and was also possibly teasing yet another Candyman movie. I wouldn’t completely recommend this movie to others, but I would recommend the original 1992 Candyman over 2021 Candyman. This movie, along with many others, can’t grab my attention like older ones can.