Candyman is about a legend…a myth…a story to scare children & adults alike. Helen is a student who is writing a thesis about local legends when she hears about the Candyman one. Candyman was a slave who fell in love with the wrong girl. His hand was cut off & a hook was jammed in the stump then his body was smeared with honey & he was left to the bees.
The legend goes that if you say his name five times in front of a mirror & then switch off the lights he will come. As Helen investigates the myth she begins to see that there is a lot more to it then she first thought & that her life may be in danger. The Candyman is real…
From the opening lines spoken by the Candyman himself:
“They will say I have shed innocent blood. What’s blood for, if not for shedding?”
To the final scene of a woman screaming at the top of her voice this movie does not pull any punches. It is uncompromising, brutal & depressing but is one of the finest horror movies I have ever seen.
Candyman is an intelligent horror movie that expects the watcher to think & question the motives behind it. Death doesn’t come without a price & the sanity of the lead is called into question. Is it real & what does the Candyman want?
Tony Todd is a revelation as the Candyman & has become one of the most effective killers in horror to date. He speaks with evil & malice but talks of love & need; his reveal to Helen in the car park is very chilling. It’s hard to fault any of the acting in the movie; everyone does a great job & the multiple stories that play out effect all in different ways.
The movie is exceptionally gory when it has to be & as Candyman says himself, blood will be shed. It is all so realistic that the word I can only find to use to describe it is uncomfortable. During one extremely lengthy scene a character covered in blood is forced to strip by the police while sobbing. It is very disturbing.
So is Candyman scary? Yes & no. It depends on the person I think. I found it to have some of the most effective scares in horror which don’t rely on jump out at you moments. Some of the most effective scares relate to a combination of the excellently creepy music & the static imagery. The sequence where Helen explores the dilapidated flats & uncovers more & more disturbing sights is extremely effective.
I mentioned the music above but I have to add that it is extremely haunting & fits the movie perfectly. It is used to such an impressive degree that any scene had sticks in your mind will have the music playing alongside it. It’s up there alongside Halloween & The Exorcist…
Candyman will not make you laugh, it will not make you smile & you will not come away feeling good but you will know you have seen one of the best & most effective horror movies in a very long time.
Finally don’t forget that Candyman is adapted from the short story by Clive Barker. The movie stays very true to it except for the ending. Both are equally as good but I won’t spoil that for you.
One of the darkest horror movies I have ever seen & it’s impact has not been dulled by time. The Candyman legend is infamous & I still have never said his name 5 times….just in case.
The Final Score - 10/10
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