While Candy Corn isn’t doing anything original (at all), it’s a solid horror flick held together by a memorable set of characters played by a strong cast. Written and directed by Josh Hasty, it stars Courtney Gains, Pancho Moler, P. J. Soles and Tony Todd.
The plot surrounds a group of bullies who like to take part in an annual hazing during the Halloween period. A hazing that involves picking on a local, awkward and shy boy named Jacob. According to the lead bully, this is a tradition but this year they go to far. Finally, having had enough of their behaviour, Jacob fights back and gets a kicking so bad, he winds up dead.
It’s a small town and no-one saw what they did so they know they can get away with it but what they don’t know is that Jacob had started working for a travelling carnival run by Dr. Death. Upon finding Jacob, Dr. Death is incensed and uses some voodoo magic to resurrect Jacob so he can take his revenge on those who have wronged him.
It’s a very simple plot and plays out exactly as you might expect it too. However, it does so competently, ensuring your attention is gained even if some niggling issues stop it being a great movie.
The good stuff surrounds the cast. Courtney Gains is the likeable sheriff suddenly having to deal with a raft of violent murders in his town. Nate Chaney is the sympathetic but problematic Jacob, Sky Elobar’s Gus is sleazy gold and Madison Russ does a good job with her ‘along for the ride but regretful’ character of Carol. However, the star is Pancho Moler as Dr. Death. Stealing every single scene and making the film so much stronger for his performance.
His justification for setting the resurrected Jacob on the bullies is sketchy but his performance makes you kind of agree with him. Well, that and the fact there’s no-one to really like in this. The bullies are a loathsome bunch that you want to see get their punishment. The only one you find yourself rooting for is Gains’ Sheriff but he’s not the main focus unfortunately.
With no-one to root for, which is a problem, the focus turns to the killer and the resurrected Jacob is a good one. Tall and gangly, wearing a bloody jack-o-lantern and with the strength/violent power of a Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees. While nowhere as memorable as those legendary killers, Jacob does cast a chilling shadow.
As stated at the start, Candy Corn isn’t doing anything new but it does more than enough to make it a worthwhile watch.
The Final Score - 6/10