Slaves To Their Past
Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows reviews Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, out in cinemas now…
Director: Nia DaCosta
Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Tony Todd
Candyman was one of the films that was hit by covid over the past eighteen months and at last it is coming out at the cinema. It is a direct sequel to 1992’s film of the same name directed by Bernard Rose.
It has been a very long time since I saw Rose’s film and there were two less successful sequels that followed it.
The original Candyman took Clive Barker’s tale of horror on a Scouse council estate and moved the action to the projects in Chicago since no American audience would accept a horror film in Liverpool.
DaCosta’s Candyman returns to Cabrini Green in Chicago and artist Anthony (Abdul-Mateen II) moves to the area with girlfriend, art dealer Brianna Cartwright (played by Teyonah Parris). The Cabrini tower blocks were torn down a decade ago but the ghost of the Candyman remains.
So Anthony gets drawn back into the legend through meeting up with an old-timer who tells him about slave Daniel Robitaille, who made the mistake of falling in love with a white woman and was captured, tortured and eventually killed by his white masters many decades ago.
There was a sense of urban alienation in Bernard Rose’s 1992 original and DaCosta has decided to update this to include the general sense of mistreatment that African-Americans have endured over the years.
Candyman does have a few moments of genuine horror well-handled by DaCosta and the return of Tony Todd is welcome. But it suffers from a weak script which doesn’t satisfactorily explain why Anthony makes his final transformation as a character. Also the absence of the tower blocks means that the film just isn’t as genuinely unsettling and creepy as its 1990s progenitor.
Candyman produced by Jordan Peele is a decent stab at a remake of the 1990s horror franchise but it doesn’t quite gel. Abdul-Mateen II, last seen in HBO’s Watchmen, is a perfectly serviceable protagonist, a manic figure who is drawn into the horror and his relationship with art dealer Brianna works well. The rest of the cast are fine if a little bit generic.
The film does set things up for a sequel and hopefully a followup would improve on its flaws.
Here’s the film’s trailer
Slaves To Their Past Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows reviews Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, out in cinemas now… Candyman Director: Nia DaCosta Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Tony Todd Candyman was one of the films that was hit by covid over the past eighteen months and at last it is coming out at the
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