Candyman (2021) – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Candyman (2021) – Oh Sweet Terror … Say My Name

The measures of terror can come on many fronts.  From momentary gore to psychological twists, the raw tension brings about a certain pathway of fear.  No matter how the journey is built, it is dread that will make or break the horror experience.  In this review, I look at the latest horror/sequel creation from the mind of Jordan Peele.  This film pushes forward a renewed vision of terror, while also expanding upon the lore.  Wrapped around a methodical approach, Candyman (2021) is an experience that plays upon the particulars.  A thoughtful approach to horror, Candyman (2021) shows that sweetness can be a taste full of scares.

When Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) looks to find inspiration, it leads him to places of myths and legends.  When mysteries become a reality, will he be inspired or loose everything.  On its foundation, the film provides a story that is a continuation (sequel) within aspects of the genre (horror).  This approach creates a balance between the familiarity and expansion of the lore.  In the beginning, we are introduced to Anthony and his girlfriend, Brianna (Teyonah Parris).  They have just moved to a now-gentrified area of Chicago, looking to build upon their success in the art world.  Through some circumstantial plot threading, we learn that they are part of a larger group (of artist) trying to create pieces that represent aspect of society.  Looking for inspiration, he begins to investigate the history of the neighborhood.  This brings him in contact with elements from the past, leading to revelation of the would-be myth of the Candyman.  Through this part of the film, there is a candid appeal that revels in the methodical pacing of the storytelling.  The grounded introduction to the characters (and setting) provides a realistic aesthetic to the horror element.  Seeing ‘who they are’ provides girth to the journey, while also paralleling truths to the history about the neighborhood.  As Anthony begins to dive into the would-be myth, he begins to experience certain illusions that cannot be explained.  This leads into a second half where the characterization leads to molding with the horror aspects of the lore.

As Anthony is piecemealing different aspect of ‘who is Candyman’, the experiences of what is real begins to weight down on his mind.  The devolution of his character (mental and physical) begins to have a toll on his relationship.  While the characterization is strong, the methodical direction continues to provide strength through tense atmosphere and camera technique.  The unexpectedness of terror provides levity in the darkness of the myth, paralleling a significance to the folly nature of horror tropes.  The experiences happening to Anthony are disheartening, but also it adds burden to his caricature because of the killings happening in the neighborhood.  As things slowly unravel, it brings about some startling discoveries that link the past to the present.  Once everything comes to light, it leads into a third act that lifts the lore above the typical horror tropes.  Facing trauma on all fronts, it creates a climax of true fulfillment.  Candyman (2021) is a horror film that lifts above the tropes to create an endearing, psychological experience.  If you are a fan of Jordan Peele, story driven films and methodical horrors, this is one for you.  This is truly a film to experience on the big screen.       

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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