Candyman (2021) is a pale reflection of the legend. I feel like I’m missing something, because I really don’t get why it’s so highly rated. The “Say My Name” trailer is complete false advertisement. Just like Halloween (2018), Candyman (2021) is a requel that ignores the events of Farewell to the Flesh and Day of the Dead. Although a fourth movie was intended (including a crossover with Leprechaun), nothing happened for over 2 decades. So Jordan Peele revived it as part of his ever growing array of black horror films. Except Nia DaCosta is the director. Since the movie is more black, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as a grown up baby Anthony from the first movie.
He’s an artist living with his girlfriend Brianna played by Teyonah Parris. Vanessa Williams briefly returns as Anthony’s estranged mother when he’s slowly consumed by the Candyman legend. Despite a 1 hour & 31 minute runtime, Candyman (2021) feels endless and takes a long time to get to any kills. Kills are bloody, but not nearly as icky with no gross bee imagery. The tone is all over the place with an overly comedic gay couple, badly written victims, and high school mean girls with no bearing on the plot. Even though Candyman is a black slasher villain, the franchise was never exclusively black focused. Which is why there’s no reason to connect it to the original.
Candyman (2021) spends a lot more time harping on police brutality, gentrification, racism, and other social problems. More time is spent on another version of Candyman who lived in Cabrini-Green and handed out candy to children before he was killed by the police. It’s practically a remake, but I guess Peele wanted to have his candy and eat it too. Stories of Helen Lyle are brought up, but all flashbacks are shown in visually unique shadow puppets. Tony Todd doesn’t appear until the very end. Without him, Candyman (2021) doesn’t hold a hook to the original.
Preceded by: Candyman (1992)