It is very hard these days to make horror films, that are quite unique or original. A lot of the horror films that are released feels like borrowed ideas from classics from the 80´s or the 90´s. And i can accept that, as long as the film is good. It is not easy coming up with original ideas, since the horror genre have tried so many different paths for so many years. The golden age of horror films was during the 80´s, if you ask me. Those were the years when they really went in all directions, and tried so many creative ideas, especially where practical effects got a chance to shine. Even if the 80´s was the golden age of horror, we did get some good titles in the 90´s as well. Just a reminder of titles such as Bram Stoker´s Dracula, Interview With A Vampire, The Exorcist III, John Carpenter´s Vampires, Blade and many more. Since we are speaking about the 90´s, let´s talk about one specific horror film that did leave a big impact among horror fans around the world. And that is the 1992 horror film known as Candyman, directed by Bernard Rose. Candyman turned out to be a quite different kind of horror film, thanks to the character of Candyman, played by legendary horror actor Tony Todd ( who have been in so many good films such as The Crow, The Rock and The Wishmaster ). Candyman tells the story of Chicago semiotics graduate student Helen Lyle ( Virginia Madsen ), who is doing research on the urban legend known as Candyman ( Tony Todds ), a spirit who kills anyone who says his name five times infront of a mirror. What made Candyman such a unique horror film, was the evil character known as Candyman. Legendary actor Tony Todd definetely made this character so powerful, through his portrait of this brutal killer. I have to mention that director Bernrd Rose did a really good job on telling the story of this film, using simple but effective horror methods. This is definetely a film worth checking out on Blu Ray or DVD, if you enjoy 90´s horror. Candyman did get 2 more sequels ( i did not see any of them ), and after the third film Candyman: Day Of The Dead, no more films in this franchise was made. It would take 22 years, and here we have a remake of Candyman, with a brand new cast and a new director. Considering that the original film is loved by horror fans worldwide, is this remake better than i expected, or should they have left Candyman alone for good?
Visual artist Anthony McCoy ( Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ) lives in Chicago with his girlfriend, art gallery director Brianna Cartwright ( Teyonah Parris ). Looking for a creative spark, Anthony goes to Gabrini-Green after hearing the legend of Helen Lyle ( Virginia Madsen ), who was claimed to have kidnapped a baby and killed several people before walking into a community bonfire, killing herself. Anthony finds out the horrific background story of Candyman, through laundromat owner William Burke ( Colman Domingo ). William was a witness back in 1977 when police officers abused Sherman Fields ( Michael Hargrove ) abused Sherman to death. Now, 32 years later, Candyman returns, as he have been summoned through a mirror.
I decided even before checking out this remake, that i would go into this film with an open mind. That i would not try and compare this film with the original film. Even if both films have connections to the past, i have to say that i am impressed. This remake actually takes the story of the Candyman more seriously than i expected. And you get a sense that they really wanted to show respect, not only to the original film, but also to the character known as Candyman. I believe that this was a very good choice, since a remake would be difficult to do. So with this said, let´s get into the details i especially enjoy about this film. First of all, this film looks really good. The cienatography from John Guleserian ( who also did a great job with cinematography on the British romantic comedy Aboute Time ) is right on spot. Not only is this film his best work so far, but you can tell he actually made an effort to give this film a unique look. The acting in this film is surprisingly good, and i have to say that actor Colman Domingo ( who have been in a number of really good films, such as 42, The Butler and Selma ) as the character William Burke. He just feels so natural as this character, and every scene he deliver solid dialogue, he make everything match perfectly. Wonderful actress Teyonah Parris ( who is really good in the drama film If Beale Street Could Talk ) as the character Brianna, is another really good example of top quality acting. Lead character Yaha Abdul-Mateen II ( who did a really good acting performance in the Netflix film The Trial Of The Chicago 7 ) manage to deliver a performance that not only feels powerful, but also fascinating as well. As a slasher horror film, does this film have anything to offer? In my opinion, this is one of the better slasher horror films that i have seen this year. The biggest reason for that is the Candyman himself, when he shows up. It is quite effective to see someone with a hook kill people, and it definetely makes this film feel a bit old school. Even if we don´t get to see a lot of brutal kills, i can accept that. Since this film looks so good, it definetely helps the film work better with the horror elements. Anything negative to say? Not really, i don´t have much to complain about. Perhaps that i would have wanted some more brutal kills, but other than that i am pleased with this film. For me this is a perfect example when a remake is actually made with passion for horror, and they actually care about the substance, instead of just trying to cash in on a famous project. Director Nia Dacosta have done a really good job telling the story of Candyman, and portray this in ordinary day life, among ordinary people. If there ever is a sequel made, i really hope she returns as a director. Until then, i think you should check out Candyman on VOD, DVD or Blu Ray, and hopefully enjoy it as much as i did. Excuse me for a moment, i need to find a mirror and see if my skin looks a little more smooth. I promise, i will not even mention Candyman in the mirror ( who am i fooling? ).