Candyman (2021) (2021)
August 29, 2021 6:35 PM - Subscribe

Anthony and his partner move into a loft in the now gentrified Cabrini-Green, and after a chance encounter with an old-timer exposes Anthony to the true story behind Candyman, he unknowingly opens a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence.

In theaters now. Directed by Nia DaCosta.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
But was it really unknowingly?

Looking forward to people's impressions of this movie. Can't decide if I'm interested in seeing it or not.
posted by WhenInGnome at 10:11 AM on August 30, 2021

As a former horror movie lover turned scaredy-cat, I always appreciate Slate's admittedly subjective "how scary is it" analysis (very mild spoilers).
posted by amarynth at 12:25 PM on August 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

I saw it last night. I thought it was just ok. The pacing was sort of off, at least at the beginning, and there were some plot points that seemed to basically go nowhere and seemed like padding more than anything else; the whole picture seemed disorganized to me. And I hate to say it, but not one of the characters was especially interesting.

I didn’t think the racial commentary was any penetrating than it was in the first movie; there’s really only so much you can say about gentrification, and this picture didn’t add any particularly interesting gloss on it. The finale was well done, but not enough so that I was particularly glad I went to the theater to see it.
posted by O Sock My Sock at 6:29 PM on August 30, 2021

I generally enjoyed it, but thought it was a little rushed. It was trying to do a lot in only 90 minutes, so it generally seemed like everything either needed to pay off immediately or was dropped (I get the sense that something relating to the artist father's storage unit was cut). The shadow puppets were really cool though, and there were some pretty good setpieces in there.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:03 AM on September 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I loved the callbacks to the original film - particularly that fabulous angle on the city opening shot, literally reflecting the original overhead. The subtle effects with the mirror were great too: the underside of a bee and some light tapping on glass and boom, we're not sure what's real.

I think they had to make this a short film for Halloween, and a load of plot and allusions got left in the editing suite. I was so hyped for the idea that this film was going to be set in the same place geographically, but not socially, but they didn't have time to follow up on that and still have a plot.

I liked the actors and the camera work, but I think the writing or the pacing or something wasn't quite right. They could have told a smaller story completely in the time, or taken more time and said it all.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:06 AM on September 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Tough room! I enjoyed it pretty much entirely; I totally get the "there was a lot going on, and much of it shallow" take, but it felt like a movie happening in a complete world that we were just dipping into aspects of. I didn't really mind that a lot of it felt a bit opaque; I liked the idea of there being a lineage of Candysman* and the story hitting beats in time with new people manifesting a spirit kept alive through story -- kind of a Matt Wagner Grendel riff there (but I doubt that was known/intentional by the filmmakers, that's kind of a '80s-'90s comics deep cut).

I thought there was a good mix of body horror and some smart choices about filming most of the nightmarish stuff just off-camera; the final manifestations of Candyman were terrific. The ramp of Antony exploring, learning more, and getting sucked in felt mostly credible. Nobody seemed to be hit too much by the idiot stick, except for not getting that bee sting checked out as soon as it went weirdly septic. The [spoiler]reveal of Anthony's mother was a great surprise. Laundromat guy's heel turn completely off the deep end felt like it was a bit much, but kind of acceptable in horror movie people-go-a-bit-loopy conventions.

I always find myself getting caught up in the rules with these sorts of movies... is there a geographic limit on saying C____? Does it have to be a mirror or a reflective object? The same person five times (doesn't seems so, based on the ending). Does it all have to be one mirror session? Is there a time limit before the five-count resets itself? None of this affects my enjoyment of the movie -- it's just the kind of thing my brain starts going on about.

*like governors general, right?
posted by Shepherd at 5:39 PM on September 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

I always find myself getting caught up in the rules with these sorts of movies

Me too. I saw it tonight and wondered about exactly the same points you did.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:04 PM on March 11, 2022

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