Candyman is skillfully refined and developed by DaCosta as an interpretation of anger against racial prejudice in the age of Black Lives Matter, a mythically militarised yell against Jim Crow and its fallout; her film examines Candyman as a side effect of inequality and terrible housing and the urban renewal phenomenon.
And the film explores how Candyman’s character is created not by a performance, but rather as a healing and redemptive fantasy dug up by the communal psyche, similar to Godzilla after the retaliatory attack. And, as it turns out, this video clip also alludes indirectly to the main point that Candyman fans have been debating for centuries: how long do you have to repeat it for the 4th and last time before Candyman deems it a reboot and makes the fifth “Candyman” the first?
He’ll divide you from groyne to gullet if you say his name 5 times in front of a mirror. The kind of eerie tale that’s written down in murmurs, but it takes frightening material existence in the Candyman series, which started well almost 30 years ago. Nia DaCosta’s fourth and most recent film revisits the urban legend and more than earns its place as a centuries spinoff. While it pays tribute to the established tale, it also delves deeper into the creation myth, uncovering turbulent ideas that had always hovered just underneath the film franchise surface. The end result is creative, reflective, and unnerving.
The hook-handed Candyman abducted Baby Anthony in the 1992 version, and he is now an adult. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II portrays him as a contemporary painter who lives in a slummy Chicago area with his art center director lover, Brianna (Teyonah Parris), not too far from the Cabrini-Green residential complex where the previous film was situated. He’s not known of the Candyman or what transpired to him as a child, but when he first hears about the story — which the film dramatises with exquisite, ethnographic puppet shows — he’s taken aback.
The carnage in the film is wonderfully enigmatic
Because his work is so important to him, Anthony Abdul-Mateen exudes a familiar outsider arrogance. The film holds out on its slasher moments for approximately as long as the original did, instead occupying its time with a creeping, slow-burn examination of places and how people’s lives are moulded by their surroundings. The production design choices in the film accentuate the concept of gentrification, which is a natural progression in the series. Anthony’s quest has a feeling of urgency to it since he’s as interested in uncovering a horror storey as he is in discovering himself.
Antony’s mental state taken in account
As Anthony’s mental state deteriorates, narrative aspects fade away in favour of last-minute clunky exposition, and the storey becomes unbalanced, only to be resolved all at once. The script’s uneven third act, less mystical than unkempt, is a bit of a letdown after such a clean, compelling start—though it clearly understands what it’s doing in its final moments. There’s as much to delight you as there is to make you ponder, and its irregular layers invite reinterpretation and closer readings, much like the orginal. With a crimson delectable passion, throats are sliced and gullets are seized. To keep anything alive, one must die.
DaCosta’s aesthetic quality, as well as the totally revolting sound combination, are eager participants. She uses a combination of dark comedy, deception, and creative staging to create the murder scenes, fully understanding that what you don’t see—or believe you saw—can be a lot worse than what you do see.
One well-staged death scenario is shown in a wide angle while the film pulls back, giving us a view of anyone fleeing just as the slaughter is taking place. Add in some very disturbing psychological horror and a gratifying conclusion that neatly wraps up the film’s synopsis, and you’ve got yourself an entertaining, thought-provoking evening at the cinema.