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Candyman (1992) or Candyman (2021)? Why not BOTH! – A Spoiler-free Review

What are two things that I am afraid of? Crowded indoor spaces during a pandemic and Candyman. Sometimes you have to face one in order to enjoy the other, so I split the difference and waited till today to watch Nia DaCosta’s Candyman…

First off, if you’ve never seen the 1992 classic film Candyman, you should just make an evening of watching a true horror masterpiece. There’s a reason why he’s up there with Freddy, Jason, and Chucky despite not having the same movie count they do. I re-watched the original a few hours before the new one and it really paid off!

I said spoiler-free in the title, but that doesn’t apply to 30-year-old cinema, so I feel comfortable saying that everything in the original film is 100% canon; Helen’s research paper disaster, the tragedy of Daniel Robitaille, Cabrini-Green’s entirely too real history, using a mirror to summon urban legends (I tried to summon DB Cooper at camp one summer), Candyman’s concern about people not believing in him… All of it is still here and I was glued to my seat (thankfully, not with honey and surrounded by angry bees).

What makes the original so amazing is what really works for this new iteration of Candyman. Is this a movie about urban legends? a classic slasher? redlining? gentrification? the horrors of generations of oppression, even in ‘Northern states?’ Urban beekeeping? every man with a hook for a hand in Chicago for the last 130 years? the candy x-ray scare in the 1980’s (which was 100% Night of the Demons, right?)? Yes… and more.

I loved this movie, maybe it didn’t have as many of the classic “jump scares” that some people need, but the subtle work with mirrors, creepiness, returning and genre actors giving their all, bees, and urban legend belief structure gave me life! Enough life to watch those other two sequels, which will most assuredly snuff out my excitement relegating Candyman back to the shelf with the Green Goblin 16-wheeler and Pumpkinhead...


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