Candyman (1992)

Movie Title: Candyman

Year Released: 1992

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 39min

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Bernard Rose (based on "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy, Marianna Elliott, Ted Raimi, Ria Pavia

Review: Helen (Virginia Madsen) and "Bernie" (Kasi Lemmons) are grad students researching urban legends. When they learn about a local legend named "Candyman" they jump at the chance to investigate. Soon they get more than they bargained for when danger surrounds them in housing projects of Cabrini Green, along with the hook-handed horror of Candyman (Tony Todd) himself! The truth might turn out to be deadlier than fiction when you look in the mirror and say his name 5 times! Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman... CANDYMAN!

This was my first time watching this '90s cult horror hit and I have to say... it was a scary good time!

I think what really works here is that the movie is a slow-burn mystery that teases the audience about the validity of its title character before the scares, shocks, and gore really start. Is he real? Is he a myth? Is he a monster? A tragic hero perhaps? Or maybe just an urban legend told to scare the life out of a community? Or could it be all of the above? Watch at your own risk!

Virginia Madsen is so good as Helen, a headstrong student that risks everything for answers... answers that she might not to ready to find out! I wish she hit it big because she carries this movie effortlessly while garnering our sympathies and making us fear for her life... ans sanity. And Tony Todd is pure screen dynamite! His appearance grabs your attention and fascinates while freaking you out as Candyman. Todd plays him like a seductive Gothic character from classic Universal monster movies, and his voice is almost hypnotic. It's perfection!

The movie also feels like a tragic, blood-soaked fairy tale, at times, that easily casts a spell on the characters, as well as the audience. I will say that the climax kind of lost me a bit, but I did enjoy the movie. The creepy atmosphere, the music, the shocking revelations, the performances, and the title character make Candyman a top-tier horror feature that is scary, haunting, and worthy of watching and re-watching during the Halloween season.

So say it once. Say it twice. Fifth times the charm. Beware of the Candyman!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Director Bernard Rose had Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd take ballroom dancing classes together so they would have more of a romantic connection when playing their characters.


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