Candyman is one of those rare horror classics I haven’t seen fully until just recently. Based off of the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker (one of my favorite horror authors), I was excited to see what this icon had in store for me.
Helen Lyle and Bernadette Walsh are grad students investigating a local urban legend held accountable for several grisly murders, the Candyman. If you look into a mirror and say his name 5 times, a figure with a hook for a hand disembowels you. Upon further investigation Helen learns where this story originated, a young African American man was brutally killed by having his arm cut off and slathered in honey so he would by stung to death by thousands of bees and finally his body was burned and his ashes were scattered in what would be a run down apartment complex near her. She takes the legend in jest and summons the haunting figure who turns Helen’s life upside down to continue his legend; can Helen bring down the figure before he steals a baby’s life as well as her own?
While not perfect, I can safely say Candyman is a classic. Tony Todd as Candyman is menacing and his voice is frightening; my only grip is that they echo him too much and there’s a few times it becomes hard to understand his lines. I love the cinematography and the use of symbolism. My favorite besides Candyman’s full reveal at the end is the entrance to his lair being a painting of his screaming face. Virginia Madsen as Helen isn’t a typical survivor girl and I liked her as a main character. The movie’s pacing is good and the score is pretty different which gives the movie a tone different than most slasher movies. A couple of times the effects look kooky but nothing unforgivable by any means. Candyman is definitely a movie I recommend to any horror fan who never saw it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.