CANDYMAN (2021) – Blackwashed version in the name of racial justice and healing


Rating: ⭐⭐

Candyman is yet another attempt by Hollywood to reboot a successful horror franchise. The film makers here would like us to think of this as a sort of sequel to the original 1992 Candyman. Any links between these movies are small and this is really a standalone story. Candyman is the name of the killer with a hooked hand that gets summoned when his name is called out 5 times in front of a mirror. Almost immediately he will appear on the mirror and brutally kill of whoever foolish enough to summon his presence.

The involvement of Jordan Peele as one of the screenplay writer and producer means that we are in for another racist movie that would highlight the plight of the black community and an uneven representation of the races. Not surprisingly, the main cast members are black , and anyone who is not black is portrayed as either a bad person or an idiot or both. Naturally they all deserve to become victims and die horrible deaths under the hand (or hook) of the Candyman. This fondness and seemingly uncontrolled desire by Jordan Peele to make every movie of his become a BlackLivesMatter advocate is a turn off for me as this intent often feels like it is overshadowing the film. If you stay long enough after the movie end credits have rolled, there is actually a statement that flashes on the screen that says “To Learn More About Resources & Organizations That Support Racial Justice and Healing, Please Visit”!!

On the plus side, lead actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II does a decent job playing the role of a struggling modern art painter who gets drawn into the old story of the Candyman, inadvertently triggering a series of events that summons the macabre character. Also director, Nia DaCosta has a stylish flair in her work and this is evident right at the start of the movie where the names and trademarks of the films producers were presented in a reserved mirror image order. Also at one of the earlier scenes the high-rise buildings of Chicago were photographed from a unusually low angle, which provided a fresh point of view with a suitably unnerving effect. Many scenes in the rest of the movie especially the gory kill scenes, were creatively constructed, providing the chills. The ending is predictable and leaves the plot open for further engineering follow-up movies in the franchise.

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