Candyman (2021); Grade: B-
Candyman tells a story about an artist/photographer named Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen 2) whom is well known for his art based around sensitive and important subjects. For his next exhibit, Anthony gets inspiration from his own neighborhood he grew up in, about an entity known as The Candyman. If one looks in the mirror and repeats Candyman five times... The entity will come out and murder them on the spot.
For one that thought this was going to be a remake or reboot of the original, I was kind of surprised this film follows up with the original back in 1992. A lot of people enjoyed the original Candyman, I thought it was just enjoyably average for my taste. I prefer Candyman (2021) over Candyman (1992) slightly, however as I let it sit for a good amount of time... I'm kind of indifferent by one area.
Candyman (2021) though isn't entirely original, however does have a particular unique style visually speaking. One of my favorite aspects of the film from a visual standpoint has got to be the paper mâché figures, as I thought this was such a cool creative way of storytelling, to tell the few haunting stories of the origin of where exactly did The Candyman come from. It made me felt like I was a child watching Gerald from Hey Arnold telling his cool stories in a way, it's awesome how you don't need to be flashy while retelling a story, it can be as simple as making paper mâché figures and surprising enough it's effective visually. I felt the horror sequences were shot very well, people have complained about the art house feel of this film, but for me the violence and horror sequences really benefited a lot for me visually. I thought it was cool that one death sequence was shown from a distance, as the camera zooms back slowly, while this woman at her condo complex was being beaten by this entity, it was pretty neat.
The story of Candyman was for me throughly interesting and had moments of entertainment. I appreciate the fact it wasn't trying to be another dumb jump scare horror film, there is actually a storyline involved and doesn't get too over blown in trying to create loud noises in terms of scares, but tries to create an unsettling atmosphere within the many horror sequences. I think the story gets pretty effective in third act, where everything ties together from the original film, as it does help elevate the storyline much better. That maybe a problem for those that haven't seen the first film, as they may get lost trying to puzzle what exactly is going on, as I do suggest watching the original before seeing this version of Candyman.
Couple issues with Candyman I have were comedy material and I believe the meaning of the film. Since Jordan Peele is involved with the writing process, I'm sure he came up the humor for this film. I had a couple chuckles mainly involved with the character Troy (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), however the rest of the comedy material missed for me, as it either was poorly written or didn't fit the tone with this film.
Candyman within the film is trying to create a deeper meaning, as I found the meaning pretty confusing much as to what it was trying to say. On one hand I felt this film tried to show the unhealthy nature, of people getting a thrill of hearing or experiencing stories of people getting wrongly murdered when they are innocent, as one is trying to gain something out of their pain. Anthony McCoy gets unusually happy and excited when hearing about a victim getting wrongfully murdered in his old neighborhood, as he expresses that this will inspire his next project. Like his girlfriend: His excitement doesn't make you jump up and down with him, it makes you question his sanity and soul as to why is there so much joy within suffering of another person?! We've seen that a lot when it comes to people getting involved with these tragedies in the real world: They don't get involved because they truly care about the victim and want to make a difference, they just want to profit off it. That's exactly how I felt while watching Anthony McCoy, one that takes greed off another persons tragedy makes me sick to my stomach every time, he's by no means a likable character at all, which while watching Anthony slowly declining... I felt the film was expressing people like Anthony deserve to rot.
However that meaning can feel conflicted, as the finale speaks otherwise on another subject, as then you question... What is this film trying to say?! Does this film treat as Anthony is a protagonist? Because I didn't felt it at all, so it really makes you conflicted as to what exactly is this film maker trying to say?!
Regarding the victims of Candyman... Where the finale showcases the entity as a hero, one might ask why exactly is this entity considered a hero?! Sure at that particular moment justice felt like it was being served, however it doesn't justify all the wrong doings The Candyman has done on the other victims he murdered, in which makes you question why a character would like to spread The Candyman’s man to everyone?! Most of the victims didn't deserve to die at all, I don't think of Candyman as a "Hero", I still believe it's a demon and nothing more.
I appreciate the fact Candyman (2021) tried something different while also continuing on with the 1992 storyline, it may not be great however for my preference in horror... Some areas work for me, as it's a nice horror watch.
Overall, Candyman (2021) is a fairly decent film. I recommend watching this film, it's certainly not for everybody especially those whom don't like arthouse style films. -Mitch Smietana