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Release Date: August 27th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Candyman (2021) - Theatrical Review

Overview -

Saying his name or not saying his name, Candyman still haunts dreams of nightmares of everyone since he debuted on the big screen in 1992's Candyman. Today is a new day though and Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), climbed aboard the iconic horror franchise to write and produce a reboot sequel of Candyman with newcomer filmmaker Nia DaCosta in the director's chair. The result is a phenomenal new horror movie that explores even more elements of the hook-handed boogeyman and brings a ton of chapters from the previous films (there's been three) to a full circle roundabout in the best ways possible. There's timely social commentary, some dark humor, and some brilliant scares and gore - all of which have made the Candyman franchise one of the best in the horror genre. This Candyman has ignited a new fire that is sweet as honey and comes Highly Recommended!


Only In Theaters Friday August 27th, Order Your Tickets On Fandango 

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
August 27th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Candyman has an interesting past, starting with Clive Barker (Hellraiser) writing the short story "The Forbidden" which the films are based upon. The first film achieved cult status almost instantly in 1992, which led to its sequel Farewell To Flesh in 1995, followed by the third film in 1999 called Day of The Dead, which most people have neither seen nor heard of - for good reason. Here's where it gets interesting. After the success of Freddy VS Jason, the studio wanted to make a Candyman VS Leprechaun movie, but after Tony Todd (Candyman) read the script, he stated he would never do anything like that rubbish. Candyman laid dormant until Jordan Peele came aboard as producer with Nia DaCosta directing and brought back to life the titular figure in this new film - which again is a spectacular horrifying work of art. 

Peele and DaCosta perfectly balanced a new set of themes and tones in this new film while still celebrating the elements of the original movie in its pitch-perfect 90-minute runtime. The opening scene sets the tale back in 1977, bringing everyone up to speed in Chicago's housing project Cabrini Green, where the residents are terrorized by the urban legend a man with a hook for a hand who kills people if you say his name five times in a mirror. After this terrifying sequence, the movie cuts to the present day where the Cabrini Green neighborhood has been completely gentrified into posh high-rise condos inhabited by successful young people in the art world. 

Among those is Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a successful artist, and his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris), a rising art gallery director-star in Chicago. Hitting a stale patch in his work, Anthony looks for something more volatile to paint and create, which has him crossing paths with an older gentleman who reveals the horrifying past of Candyman and Cabrini Green. This sets in motion Anthony's descent into investigating and realizing the true story of Candyman, the neighborhood, and ultimately himself. As Anthony's art becomes more terrifying and violent, so do the numbers in brutal murders in the city due to his viral art campaign of Candyman, "Say My Name". 

DaCosta and Peele truly understand the meaning and underlying tones of Candyman, which is one of the many reasons this new film works so well. Since the first movie, it's been shown that certain groups of people are treated with extreme prejudice and unfairly, which ties in with how Candyman ultimately became the killing presence he is known to be. It's a tragic story, one that is told in this new story through excellent use of shadow paper-cutouts and brings a bigger understanding to the whole supernatural angle. These topical elements of gentrification, police brutality, racism, and law enforcement corruption are ever-present in real life as they are in this movie as Anthony and Brianna navigate their personal and corporate lives.

Adding Candyman to the mix only reveals what's burning underneath all the awkward and fake smiles in regards to those current social events and just may bring out the true and real reason Candyman exists. It's quite remarkable how Peele and DaCosta have executed this. The gore and carnage are not constant here like regular slasher films, but when the carnage is in full effect, it hits a ten rating. But this movie has so much more to say than just a movie monster going around icing people. Parris and Mateen are fantastic in their respective roles with Mateen shining in the spotlight. His witty, charming, happy character, in the beginning, is soothing and friendly, but his transformation by the end is something nightmares are made of.


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

DaCosta's eye for terror and horror is fantastic as well, showcasing her natural talent behind the camera as each shot is creepy, atmospheric, and brutally beautiful as she implores some reflective shots of a foggy Chicago skyline that feels constantly haunting. The score adds to the suspense and horror of the film and there even is a great nod to the original theme music from Phillip Glass. Candyman is back and better than ever here with the hope of more sequels and explorations of the iconic character in the future. Plus, some great cameos are indeed present for those who are immediately hooked into watching this gem of a film. Highly Recommended.

 Only In Theaters Friday August 27th, Order Your Tickets On Fandango