Candyman (2021) Review
Have you ever heard of the story of Candyman? I was shocked when I asked this question to a few people before watching the new Candyman film, as they had never heard of Candyman before. To be fair though, it has been a while since a new film has been made in the series, as more than 20 years have passed since 1999’s Candyman: Day of the Dead. If you have not seen this 1999 film, don’t watch it, it was quite terrible compared to other two films that preceded it.
The new Candyman film though, is a direct sequel to 1992’s Candyman. Directed by Nia DaCosta and written by the acclaimed Jordan Peele, the film is excellent if you are a fan of Candyman or any slasher film. The camera work and story really shine in the film, and if you are a fan of Jordan Peele’s work in horror (Get Out, Us), then you will love this film. With the film being a direct sequel, you don’t need to watch the original 1992 film to understand what is going on, but at least give the 1992 film a watch so you will understand some of the references that are used in the film. Some of the actors from the 1992 film do appear in this new one.
For those that don’t know how to summon Candyman, I will give you a clue, just fair warning that I am not responsible if something actually happens to you. Say his name, 5 times in front of a mirror, and he will come out and kill you. In this film, Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) re-discovers the legend of Candyman through the brother of his girlfriend Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris). Anthony does his research, digging deeper into the legend, and the further he goes, more supernatural events begin to happen around him.
The performances by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris are excellent in the film. They both showed how terrifying it would be if you were to see these supernatural events occur around you due to Candyman. Yahya was able to show what it would look like when you become a man obsessed with a supernatural legend such as Candyman.
One thing to note is that the film uses shadow puppets during the narrative portions of the film. I found this to be very creative, as it made explaining backstory very interesting. The direction by Nia DaCosta in telling the backstory with shadow puppets is unique as I had not seen that in film in ages. Some of the shadow puppets themselves even looked outright terrifying on screen.
The film also uses mirrors and reflections very creatively. As you all know, Candyman appears when you say his name in either a mirror or some kind of reflection. The film makes very creative use of this, as occasionally you will see a reflection and think you saw Candyman, or maybe you didn’t? This made for a very terrifying film, as every time some kind of reflection is seen on the screen, you start to wonder if something supernatural will be in that reflection. I think Nia DaCosta’s use of mirrors and reflections is probably one of the best I have seen in film to date.
So what did I think of this film? The direction by Nia DaCosta, the writing by Jordan Peele, the performances by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris were all highlights of the film. The creative camera work, the use of shadow puppets, and the use of mirrors/reflections were also excellent. This film was a good reboot/sequel to the legend of Candyman.
My recommendation: Watch This Film