Director: Nia DaCosta
Cast: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Release Date: November 16, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
For decades, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green were terrorized by a ghost story about a supernatural, hook-handed killer. In present day, a visual artist (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s “Watchmen,” Us, forthcoming Matrix Resurrections) begins to explore the macabre history of Candyman, not knowing it would unravel his sanity and unleash a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.
Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The new ‘Candyman’ film takes place decades after the original and follows an aspiring artist who moves into the now gentrified Chicago neighborhood of Cabrini-Green where he learns about the legend of Candyman. Enthralled with the legend and finding inspiration in his work arising from it, he begins to dive deeper into the macabre history of the neighborhood and its unsettling roots as his curiosity quickly evolves into obsession, all the while unaware that each step he takes toward the truth is simultaneously bringing him closer to a destiny he was unaware of.
Directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) from a screenplay that she also co-wrote along with Jordan Peele (Get Out) & Win Rosenfeld (TV’s The Twilight Zone 2020), DaCosta does a wonderful job at the helm of the new ‘Candyman’ guiding along the dreary fun and insanity with gorgeous style and care. The film also benefits from a well selected cast that includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us), Teyonah Parris (TV’s WandaVision), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (The Kid Who Would Be King), Colman Domingo (TV’s Fear the Walking Dead) and more, with the majority each offering pretty solid, if not at least capable performances for the most part in their respective roles.
The new ‘Candyman’ film serves up a dark and unsettling continuation that weaves its own unique story and approach to the material that also stays faithful to the original with repeated nods and homages to it throughout, finding an almost perfect balance between a faithful follow-up and its own enthralling creation that should thrill most fans of the 1992 film. Utilizing a somewhat slow burn approach that allows small elements of information to be revealed at the best possible moments and eventually evolving into a beautiful, dreary tale of legend and destiny clashing with at least a handful of characters that we actually care about thanks to the film taking its time to flesh out these individuals before throwing them into complete chaos. The careful guidance of director Nia DaCosta helps the mood and emotion within to get under your skin at times as it should and the capable cast led by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II only further help this follow-up to the 1990’s horror cult classic to become something quite special. I would strongly urge any fans of the original film to make a definite point of checking out the new ‘Candyman’ at your earliest convenience if you haven’t already had the pleasure. Serving as a sequel to the 1992 ‘Candyman’ in its own right, it stays true to its roots and further expands upon the legend while crafting its own unique approach to the story that’s both original and true to the first film.
Overall, the new ‘Candyman’ film is a dark, tense and often gloomy follow-up to the 90’s classic that follows one man’s quest for answers and the slow decent into madness and fate that accompany it. It’s a fresh take on the material that expands upon the myths of the original while never veering too far from its roots. The new ‘Candyman’ film is definitely recommended, especially for fans of the franchise and horror fans in general who should both appreciate this quite clever and equally faithful sequel to the original. Even if some of you may be understandably hesitant to spend the money on a blind purchase, it should certainly be well worth the price of a rental and ninety minutes of your time if you’re already even the slightest bit intrigued by it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Candyman’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and provides a wonderfully sharp, clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that never slips or disappoints along the way. It holds up impressively even during the various darkly lit and heavily populated sequences throughout, never allowing anything that’s occurring onscreen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily thrill fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a splendid compliment to the film and the equally rewarding video presentation, offering a sharp and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, eerie effects and bits of dialogue, along with some action, nature effects and plenty more whipping throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, all while never resulting in any dialogue or other simultaneously occurring audio elements becoming distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a spectacular Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that never loses its way and sounds great from start to finish.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Candyman’ features a nice helping of bonus content that includes an ‘Alternate Ending’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length) along with some ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 6 minutes altogether) and a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that dive into the mythos behind the franchise while exploring different aspects of bringing the new film to life. The included Featurettes are ‘Say My Name’ (running approximately 7 minutes), ‘Body Horror’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘The Filmmaker’s Eye: Nia DaCosta’ (5 minutes), ‘Painting Chaos’ (7 minutes), ‘The Art of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’ (5 minutes) and ‘Terror in the Shadows’ (4 minutes). Also included is the roundtable discussion ‘Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror’ (approximately 20 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Candyman’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from MGM & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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