Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Paris, Nathan Stewart-Jarret, Colman Domingo, Vanessa Williams
Director: Nia DaCosta
Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta
Cinematographer: John Gulesarian
Review: Klep Napier x Wade Swift
Rating: 4.5X’s out of 5X’s
Nearly 30 years after his first big screen appearance and his name still brings fear into the minds of adults. Candyman, now reborn through the eyes of Executive Producer/Screenwriter Jordan Peele and Director Nia DaCosta this 90s cult classic gets a fresh new start in this modern sequel, fresh enough and interesting enough to revive this franchise for a newer generation. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Candyman, (That leaves us with only two more name mentions) picks up 29 years after the original film of the same title following Anthony McCoy (Mateen) an aspiring artist in search of inspiration, when he encounters a local who explains the true story behind the now gentrified Cabrini Projects and it’s deadly past in connection with the man known as Candyman.
Director Nia DaCosta executes this film in a way that will allow you to walk out appreciating the original film just as much if not more than you may have already. Not to say that the original wasn’t good, but DaCosta ties the two together very well, meeting in the middle building blocks to raise this franchise to newer heights.
The pace is as incredible as it’s writing, this film really takes it time unraveling the deeply layered plot in the most impressive fashion. Successfully weaving fictional horror with non fictional social messages while still managing to keep it all fresh, creepy and on brand. Nothing ever feels forced or rushed it all just falls right where it’s supposed to.
One of the major pros is it’s new message and reimagining which explains the mythos of Candyman in a way that will trigger an emotional connection with a lot of people especially Black Americans. You will say, you will scream and at one point you will champion his name.
Secondly the way this installment connects to it’s predecessor is quite impressive. Name drops, back story and even a few major cameos seal the deal if you’re worried that it will not live up to or connect to the original film. Candyman only expands on the story that has already been laid out, inevitably leaving room in our opinion for future sequels.
Ultimately this film is the total package, great story, great acting, impeccable tone & pace, top tier creative cinematography, the right amount of comic relief and just enough blood to give horror/slasher buffs something to chew on. In a genre that can sometimes champion mediocrity this movie stands on its own. We were lucky enough to enjoy an early screening but we will surely be going back for seconds come opening night.
Candyman hits theaters this Friday August 27th, 2021!