“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / Theatrical Release: 1992 / Actors: Xander R. Berkeley, Kenneth A. Brown ... / DVD released 09 September, 1998 at Columbia TriStar / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC „
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As a teenager I was very much into my horror films - I loved scaring myself for some reason... Now that I'm older I am very wary at watching the newer type of horror films as they tend to show too much gore and have completely pointless storylines. However I am partial to watch the odd classic every now and again and I found myself watching Candyman last night while doing the household ironing.
Candyman was released in 1992 when I was 5 years old - I didn't actually end up watching it for the first time until I was about 14, but I remember seeing this on a neighbours VHS shelf for years and even though I didnt know at that young age what the film was actually about it felt quite haunting with the eye and the bee on the front cover.
I bought Candyman 1 & 2 on DVD a couple of years ago and today I will be reviewing the first one - where the story began...
Who is Candyman?
In the three films, Candyman is an urban legend based on a event which had happened 100 years prior.
When Candyman was alive, he was the son of a black slave in developing America as we know it today... However due to his fathers sucess in developing an important invention, Candyman lived a comfortable existance compared to other black skinned people in the community. He also had a talent for art - in particular painting. He is asked to paint a portrait of a young white woman by her father, he then falls in love with this woman and she becomes pregnant by him. When her father finds out what they have done, they start the beginning of Candymans torture. He is chased through the community on the orders of the father and they cut off his hand which he uses for painting and replaces it with a hook... but they don't stop there, they smear him in honey and allow him to get stung to death by a swarm of bees. A young child watching there calls him "candyman" due to him being smeared in the sweet honey. You later find out in the second film that his pregnant lover holds out a mirror which he looks into shortly before he meets his death. I believe this happening means it somehow captured his spirit in mirrors, therefore when a person later chants "candyman" five times into the mirror his spirit will appear and murder anyone in his path.
Helen Lyle is a mature graduate student at a Chicago university, conducting a study into urban legends and how people believe in them and use them to explain strange going's on in general life. She then hears about the story of Candyman and how he is known by residents to be responsible for a murder which happened at Cabrini Green - an infamous area of Chicago which has a bad reputation for drugs, gang violence and murder. It turns out Candyman was actually murdered 100 years prior on the site which is now Cabrini Green.
Helen and her best friend, Bernadette travel to Cabrini Green to see the murder scene and try and find out anwsers and talk to the locals where they find the murder they are looking into is just one of a couple blamed by the Candyman. Due to the location of the terrible murders the law enforcement just writes off the murders as black skinned people killing one another and that the Candyman legend is used to scare people.
Helen and Bernadette call in the mirror to Candyman... but does he appear to them? Or is he just an urban legend as they suspected all along? One things for sure, looking for Candyman will change Helens life and those around her...
Candyman was released on VHS 20 years ago and in my mind qualifys as a classic just like the Friday 13th and Halloween films due to the age and the content of the film not being like some silly horror film like you see these days. As a child before I even saw the film, we all knew the story of Candyman - being similar to that of Bloody Mary and we all used to shout his name in the mirror just to scare ourselves and see what happens...
The setting for this film, Cabrini Green, was a real life location - some high rise project apartments in Chicago which were demolished due to the same problematic issues that you see in this film - in particular the worst news story I heard about Cabrini Green was when a 9 year old girl - known in the media as Girl X, was kidnapped there, assaulted, raped and poisoned... then left for dead. The girl is still alive today, but she is confined to a wheelchair, blind and unable to speak. To me that tells you about the kind of horrific place where Candyman was filmed and in a twisted way was probably the most perfect setting in Chicago due to the horrible nature of the place. The fact that they used a real life location and used its real life name makes the film a lot more believable.
Unlike many horror films today where you feel no empathy for the bad guy, you do strangely feel some for the Candyman in this film - due to the fact that while he was alive he was normal, and his death was caused by him falling in love with the wrong person - in the beginning he was a normal human being like any of us which makes you sympathise with the charecter even though he is said to carry out these horrible deeds in his death. Tony Todd was perfect for this role in my opinion - he got all the emotions right including the half smile which puts chills through your bones.
In terms of special effects in relation to injurys / gore that you see in the film, it is quite gruesome but as someone who no longer watchs horror films as such it is watchable and like a lot of other films you don't feel the need to turn away and hide!
The storyline is not quite original - there are many others like it, old and new films, but the storyline is great in the way that it rolls out throughout the film.
The theme tune that is played throughout the film, can only be desribed by me as quite sad but haunting at the same time - which is perfect for what is shown in this film. It is a memorable tune which even if you have not seen this film for years you will hear it and instantly recongise it.
The only thing I would of liked to see more of was a bit more depth of the life of Candyman and how he has turned out into this kind of urban legend - there is a flashback to his life and death in the second film but personally it should of been in the first one - just to explain a bit more and because everyone has lost interest by the time a sequal has come out! Would highly recommend to all horror fans - its a classic and a more in depth, serious film compared to the likes of the films today...
Candyman can be bought from Amazon for £4.99 including free P&P and the further two Candyman films are called Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman 3: Day of the Dead.
I saw this film whe I was about 14 and I remember it as one of the most scariest films ive seen since.
Synopsis: Mature student Helen Lyle (Virginia masden) is a student of legend and folklure, she studies what makes people live in fear of legends. After an apparent murder of a young girl in a toilet on a poor project development. After looking into it, she is told be the girls best friend that the girl had said the word Candyman five times into a mirror, he appear beind you with a meat hook for a hand and kills you. As Helen investigates this story further she falls into a world where imagination and relaity blur as she fights to save her own sanity and convince those around her that she hasnt gone off the rails.
Bernard Rose the director picked his cast well.
Virginia masden had only done a few bit parts in films before this , like as the daughter of the rulaer of the galaxy in DUNE, her monologue is a classic clip in the soundtrack. This film really threw her into the spotlight. And with good reason she plays the unucky helen caught up in a story where her family line is connected.
Tony todd is also brilliant as the candyman, probably because his voice is so deep, he also plays the coronor guy in the first 2 final destination films as a homage to his horror roots in the film. You find out that like freddy kruger local people had punished candyman for something, and tortured him beyond imagination. As a black slave worker over 100 years ago, his crime was falling in love with and having it away with the rich white mans daughter. He reeks his revenge on those stupid enough to test him.
Xander berkeley is good as the profesor husband of lyle, he unfortunately meets an extremely untimely gory end.
Rose also made a master stroke when he hired phillip glass to do the soundtrack which is haunting as glass` soundtracks (truman show, note on a scandal and watchmen) always are. But for this reason, just like many horror films it is instantly recognisable and had many a kid trying to copy it on their casio keyboards. Glass uses one simple piano for some of the opening track and it descends into chroal overtures, which always works well in horror
The special FX in this film are very good, no CGI, just actual effects and blood, gore effects. But rose doesnt over do it, he leaves some parts up to the imagination and this is scarier in some ways.
This is one of the most scariest films you'll ever see.
Dare you say his name five times to a mirror? or say the name Helen five times to a mirror - which one will you choose?
Helen Lyle is a student who studies myths and legends and is married to one of the university's professors Trevor. One day she discovers the murder of a young girl, she then goes round to the place taking photographs of where the girl had died, it had believed to be in a toilet. Her friend Bernardette, tells her story of Candyman and she tells Helen to say his name five times to a mirror and he will appear, Bernardette pursuades Helen into saying his name...she does it and falls into a world she'd never imagine. The last place she wanted to be at. Will Helen become part of Candyman? She will become her own legend? Find out in one of the scraiest horror film ever made.....will You say his name five times to a mirror?
Helen Lyle : Virginia Masden
Candyman: Tony Todd
Trevor Lyle: Xander Berkerly
Kasi Lemmons: Bernardette 'Bernie' Walsh
Anne-Marie Coy: Vanessa Williams
director: Bernard Rose
certificate : 18
release date: 19th March 1993 (cinema) 9th September 1998 (video release)
run time: 99 minutes
I liked this film in a good way, but I found this film to scary to watch on my own or on halloween, but I you are not a fan of horror films watch it with someone! When i watched this for the first time I got nightmares as before me and my mate went to bed, it was dark in the kitchen and we thought the Candyman was in the kitchen and we screamed, ran upstairs and shared a bed that night cause we so scared of sleeping on our own!
Candyman is a horror film that was released in 1992 and based on short story, The Forbidden by Clive Barker. Candyman is the first of three films in the series. The film is rated 18 due to violence and gore and it has a run time of 99 minutes.
Virginia Madsen is a grad student writing a thesis on urban legends and while doing some research, she comes across the story of Candyman. The legend is extremely well known in the Chicago area and with so many people with a story to tell about him, knowing someone who knew someone else that was murdered by him etc, Virginia decides to carry on researching him.
The legend goes that Candyman, Daniel Robitaille, was the son of a slave who was having an affair with a wealthy land owners' daughter. When the woman got pregnant, Daniel was attacked by a mob of townspeople Not only did they beat, burn him and cut off his hand, they also covered him in honey and let a group of bees at him. It is believed that if you call his name five times he will appear but when he does, he is far from friendly.
Virginia doesn't truly believe in urban legends so when she calls his name, she expects that nothing will happen. Howvever, this is the one urban legend that she should have believed in.
Virginia Madsen ... Helen Lyle
Tony Todd ... The Candyman / Daniel Robitaille
Xander Berkeley ... Trevor Lyle
Kasi Lemmons ... Bernadette 'Bernie' Walsh
Vanessa Williams ... Anne-Marie McCoy
DeJuan Guy ... Jake
Marianna Elliott ... Clara
Ted Raimi ... Billy
Although we have seen urban legends used before in horror films, this one didn't go down the easy route. The story is very original which is mainly because the story is based on something previously written and not an actual urban legend. Candyman was a genius invention and one of the most terrifying bad guys I have seen yet. The idea itself is scary enough but Tony Todd really brings the character to life and you cannot help but be scared of him. Even though he truly scares me, his voice is very smooth and enticing which completely draws you to him.
The way that we learn of Candyman is extremely graphic and gives me chills each time I see this part of the film. This part probably didn't need to be so graphic but the way it was done definitely gets the point across of how brutal his death was.
One thing that sets this aside from other horror films is the choice of main characters. Too often we see annoying teenagers doing stupid things in horror films because it seems that they don't know any better but this time, we have two, obviously intelligent females as the main characters. I really enjoyed this difference because even though you think they are going to be clever about what is going on, they still manage to get themselves in deep trouble.
The music really adds a sense of drama to the story and as soon as you hear the signature piano notes, you know something bad is going to happen. Yes, this warns the audience but I was never quite sure what was going to happen, keeping the suspense going the whole way through. The way the film was shot also adds to this because it is so dark and creepy for the most part, especially in the bad neighbourhoods.
The gore factor isn't very high in this film but it didn't really need it. Little is shown of the killings but enough to make you realise what is happening. I liked that a lot is left to the imagination of the audience which is something that makes a film scarier for me. Some horror fans may feel a little let down by this but if it had been a blood bath, I think the film as a whole would have been ruined.
Candyman is one of the few horror films that really scare me and it never fails to do just that, no matter how many times I watch it. Highly recommended for horror fans.
The cover on the DVD alone has me cringing with fear it is such a graphic image and one that I really do not like looking at, unfortunately the other half did not show me the case before he put this on to watch a few nights ago, if he had I would have given it a miss and I wish I had now.
The lead character is Helen Lyle who is played by Virginia Marsden, she is at university doing a course which looks at myths and legends. One her assignments is to write a paper on the mythical Candyman, a black slave who was owned by a wealthy family, he fell in love with the daughter and in order to hide the scandal he was brutally murdered by the family members and his death covered up. However before he died he swore revenge on them. Lyle discovers that his place of birth is not far away and along with a colleague Bernie, played by Kasi Lemmon, as rumours are growing around a series of incidents supposedly linked to the slaves reincarnation a character called the Candyman. Tony Todd plays the Candyman in the film.
I must say that this is one scary horror film, it is pretty gruesome and the tension builds throughout the film as the two women attempt to preserve their lives and avoid his evil clutches. The whole atmosphere of this film is oppresive and you just know that there is going to be something horrific at every turn.
It is a rather gory film in places and for a horror film teh acting is pretty good, nothing that will win an oscar but at elast with Marsden you have a strong heroine in the film. This was a one time viewing experience for me but I can appreciate that it is a pretty good horror film.
I would have to say that this is one of the better horror films to come out of the 90's however having watched it again recently I do seem to remember it being a lot more scary when I first wathed it, then again I was a lot younger then and less mature in my viewing habits.
Virginia Madsen stars as Helen Lyle a mature student studying myths and Legends at university. She has to write a paper on the mythical Candyman, a slave for a wealthy family he fell in love with the daughter of the family and then was murdered by them in a brutal fashion swearing revenge as he died, and finding out that his place of birth is not far from the university she sets off with her friend Bernadette (Kasi Lemmon) to look into where a series of incidents are taking place which are blamed on the legend of the Candyman. Needless to say Candyman comes back from the dead when people believe in him and life is about to get a wholelot worse for Helen and Bernadette.
Candyman is played by Tony Todd and it is certainly a scary character that he portrays, the film has a pretty decent shock value and the tension builds nicely throughout the film.
Virginia Madsen .... Helen Lyle
Tony Todd .... The Candyman/Daniel Robitaille
Xander Berkeley .... Trevor Lyle
Kasi Lemmons .... Bernadette 'Bernie' Walsh
Vanessa Williams ....Anne-Marie McCoy
DeJuan Guy .... Jake
I liked the atmospheric way that the tension builds in the film, the old mythical legend comming true plot has been done before but it works well especially as we are all raiused with stories of the bogeyman and monsters hidden under the bed, this sort of plot plays on those childhood fears and then when you throw in some rather gruesome deaths you have yourself a scary horror film.
The acting is pretty good, Madsen makes a convincing lead character and Todd is good as the Candyman, overall a good horror and well worth seeing.
Candyman was released in 1992 and I found it to be a more grown up horror film than others out there at the moment. What I mean by that is that we are all used to horror movies where young girls turn on their attackers at the end after being stalked the whole film. Whereas with Candyman it features a mature woman stalking the murderer right from the opening scenes.
Helen Lyle played by Virginia Madsen is a graduate student who is studying and doing work on urban legends. During her studies she comes across the rumours about Candyman, who rumour has it is someone who slices his victims up with a hook. She becomes increasingly convinced that this is not just a myth but Candyman is real. She is however ignored by her husband and his friends and so, finds herself suspected of Candyman's crimes. There is an astonishing finale to the film.
Candyman himself is played by Tony Todd who plays him very well with a very low gravel like voice that brings the character to life.
I found this horror movie to be brilliantly directed technically and the theme and storyline hang together very well. There are some real shock moments in the movie as you might expect and and the effects and sountrack in the film mean that it unfolds at a nice pace into an unstoppable nightmare. The film itself is very scary or I thought so anyway. I myself found it very compelling and was drawn into the story, unable to get away from it. Worth watching as it's a pretty good horror story.
Helen Lyle and her best friend Bernadette are mature university students, who are studying Urban legends for their thesis. The Candyman legend in particular has caught their attention, as so many people in the area have a tale to tell and are afraid of him.
Since the legend is situated around a deprived area of Chicago, the two friends believe that the people use the legend as a reason for their situation.
Curiosity gets the bet of the friends especially Helen, and they visit Cabrini Green where a series of unsolved murders has taken place. The locals believe the deaths are the result of the Candyman, who was murdered on the estate many years ago.
Helen is told that he can be summoned by saying Candyman in a mirror 5 times, and that hell kill the caller with his hook for a hand.
As the friends still believe the legend to be untrue they look in a mirror and call out his name, although Bernadette chickens out on saying his name one last time.
Theyll soon wish theyd stay clear of this legend as more murders take place, and the Candyman takes a shine to Helen. What started off as just a study soon turns into a game of cat and mouse, and in any game there can only be one winner.
I remember watching this film back in my early teens, and while it didnt scare me, it certainly had an unnerving effect on me. Almost 10 years later and the film still managed to invoke similar feelings upon viewing.
I as Im sure others can remember playing Chinese whispers at school, where one person would whisper something in someones ear and then it would be repeated down through a chain of people altering slightly each time. More often than not when the last person would repeat what they thought they heard it would be very different from what was originally whispered. In this film an Urban legend is the centre of the plot, and while theyre not always untrue they have usually been twisted in some way or another by the various people who tell them.
This already made the film something I could very much relate to, and thats what made it so compelling to watch from start to finish.
Based on the short story The forbidden by Clive Barker, I found I was hooked on the film in the opening credits alone which is somewhat of a rarity these days in other films of the same genre. The haunting sound of the piano in the background and the aerial view of Chicago managed to be unsettling, as you realize that the Candyman could be anywhere and impending doom is imminent. As a swarm of bees surrounds the place, you hear a woman scream and the words I came for you and you realize in that short opening sequence that this film will not be for the faint hearted.
Horror fans like myself who expect plenty of blood and gore, may be somewhat disappointed to know that there isnt a great deal of it and the film airs more to the supernatural side than of horror. Most of the murders take place off the screen with clever editing used to show you just enough, so that youll know that the murder certainly wasnt pretty. Animal lovers beware as a dog meets a very grisly end, and if you hate bees then stay well clear as the candyman is covered in them under his coat. That doesnt mean to say there isnt any gore at all to please horror fans, as what was revealed was very realistic and very well shot indeed.
Tony Todd in his breakthrough role plays the man himself, and full credit to the man as his silky seductive voice made his character so believable. It was easy to see how people fell victim to him, as he had this hypnotizing effect on them. While CGI is used to make bees appear all over him including coming out of his mouth, you almost believe that this is happening as he really becomes the Candyman.
The heroine of the film is played by well known actress Virginia Madsen, and she certainly put in a fine performance as a woman seeking the truth but gets in way deep over her head. So much anguish is experienced by her character but she remains strong throughout, and Im sure this must have been physically as well as emotional draining for the actress but she pulls it off with ease.
I find so many films of this genre are too cut and dry in terms of a viewers feeling towards the characters. When a film such as this done right you would without a doubt be cheering for the victims, while routing for the demise of the bad guy. This film is a little different as while I feared for the victims and especially the child ones, I still couldnt help but feel a little sad for the Candyman. While I wont go into detail why I felt this sympathy towards this brutal killer as Id reveal too much, I will say that as the film unfolded I couldnt help but feel a little compassion towards him, and that is something I don't normally feel towards such a character.
With a running time of 135minutes, Director Bernard Rose did an outstanding job of keeping the uneasy atmosphere and smooth running of the film going at a steady pace. He certainly new how to get the best out of his performers, and managed to create a film that has certainly stood the test of time in my eyes and will remain a firm favourite of mine is this genre for a long time to come. CGI and especially the over use of it tends to date many films as technology advances so quickly, but as this film relies more on the lead performers than computer wizardry 15 years on the film still looks just as good as the day it was released.
I highly recommend this film to all of you horror fans out there, and if your feeling brave then go on and look in a mirror and say his name 5 times.
Released in 1992
Candyman is widely available on DVD and can be purchased at Amazon from £5.30.
Rated 18 for gore so stay clear if you have a weak stomach.
When I first watch this movie, I was all alone my folks had gone on holiday. It was about 11:45pm when I was flicking though the sky channels, and I noticed that Candyman was coming on at 12:15. So I went and got a block of chocolate, and a class of cranberry juice from the fridge to sit down and watch the movie.
That night I went to bed cuddling my dog lol, (it was many years ago) I guess it was the fact I was all alone in the dark.
Right on with the movie. Candyman was produced my Clive Barker in 1992 (he also did hellraiser but lets not go there). Candyman was said to be a myth, with urban legend stories all over. Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) was an adult university student studying Myths and Legends. Helens task was to write a thesis on Candyman. Candyman having a tragic past, made him come back to seek revenge to them who doubt him...
Helen finds out that Candyman (Tony Todd) actually comes from Cradbreny Green, which is only a short ride from her home. So Helen and her friend Bernadette (Kasi Lemmon's) who is working with Helen for their thesis goes to investigate. They are shocked to find that some of the legend could be in-fact true.
The background on Candyman is that he worked as a slave for a very rich and well respected family. Candyman also enjoyed painting, one day when he was painting the families daughter Caroline picture right there they new they were in love. They started to have a secret affair, only to be found out by the family Candyman was doomed to hell. There was no way that a black slave was to love there only daughter. The family killed Candyman in a most brutal way, chopping his right arm off covering his body in honey letting him to be stung to death by wasp and bees. The family laughing at him as he died, shouting Candyman at him 5 time. Only thing left of him arm was a hook stuck in the bloody stump were his once was. Candyman swore revenge to the people that tore their love apart. (isn't love scary at times?)
So now as Helen finds more facts about Candyman he confronts her in a most hair raising way I must say. "Helennn Helen" he calls, he tells Helen to start believing in him, but does she? Terrifying things start happening to Helen and she starts getting the blame for the brutal crime that have taken place. The only way for this to stop is for Helen to confront Candyman once and for all! But will she? You going to have to watch and find out.
Virginia Madsen .... Helen Lyle
Tony Todd .... The Candyman/Daniel Robitaille
Xander Berkeley .... Trevor Lyle
Kasi Lemmons .... Bernadette 'Bernie' Walsh
Vanessa Williams ....Anne-Marie McCoy
DeJuan Guy .... Jake
Carolyn Lowery .... Stacey
Barbara Alston .... Henrietta Mosely
Sarina C. Grant .... Kitty Culver
Michael Culkin .... Professor Philip Purcell
Stanley DeSantis .... Dr. Burke
Marianna Elliott .... Clara
Ted Raimi .... Billy
Ria Pavia .... Monica
Mark Daniels .... Student
Watching the film now it not so scary, I think it was the atmosphere when I first watched it that made it that bit more of a white knuckle film. Still I think this is one of the best horror films of the 90's. Nominated for 5 awards sadly only got the one, but was so well deserved.
This is a film to watch if you are a fan of horror and I know for sure that you will enjoy it.
I think this DVD is great value for money, running time of 95 minuets. Region 2 Pal. Certificate 18 (what else's hehe). DVD runs in a letterbox widescreen format
The DVD has an interactive menu, which has different options of :-
Audio set up
Multiple Language Subtitles
Extra Features are not brilliant but there not bad :-
Candyman is a great DVD so I hoped you enjoyed reading my review and thanks for reading
Clive Barker has always had a legion of fans ready to blow his trumpet (oo-er!) after the Pinhead films but for my money CandyMan blows away any of the other films he has had his hands in. Its based around a short story Barker wrote about how local 'urban legends' could somehow be made true by the people who believe in them. Throughout the whole film there is a dark sense of forboding. I always find the film to be somewhat uneasy. It is overall a superb film and I do not see why it is not be talked about in the same breath as Scream when we look back at 1990's horror. Maybe its just not 'irony filled' enough for the critics to be feel safe at night.
Anyone who has read a few of my reviews will see that I like horror movies, which is something of a bane because the horror genre is packed with movies which are simply derivative at best or plain trash at worst, far more so than any other genre of movie. Most of the criticisms levelled at such movies by those who do not like them is that they are simply not very scary and for the most part I would have to agree with them. Gone are the days when a cinema-goers would walk into a theatre and scream at something like Bela Lugosi’s Frankenstein, or Max Shrek’s vampire. As it happens today, you can see far more horrific events simply by turning on the news than you can often see through watching a horror movie, we have all become rather desensitised to it all. Tough job then for a horror movie producer to create a movie which is actually scary, but personally I would settle for ‘unsettling’ and ‘suspenseful’...which is something Candyman can offer you by the fistful. It is something of a novelty as well to be able to say that this is a horror movie which not only has a plot and a storyline, but also a rather strong plot and storyline to boot. It is based upon a Clive Barker short story by the name of The Forbidden and directed by one of the best directors knocking around the scene at the moment called Bernard Rose...yes, a name you’ve probably never heard of but he is a director who can at least create and hold an atmosphere which is more than can be said for most. Candyman is an exploration of urban legends in general and the power of myth in society and despite its usually slap-dash genre, the handling of this is actually far more intelligent than you would imagine. Forget movies such as Urban Legend, which simply take such matters and turn them into a cheap, exploitative slasher movie with little heart or soul, because Candyman actually offers up some interesting questions to the viewer and doesn’t skirt around
the perhaps more complex issues. Its never going to be heralded as a masterpiece, and its certainly not an intellectual study of urban myths and legends, but its probably a lot more intelligent than you would think a movie which is essentially a horror movie, and a slasher movie at that, could ever be,. The particular urban legend under scrutiny here is that of the Candyman(Tony Todd) who haunts a poor black neighbourhood. Two students investigating urban legends for their doctorate choose this legend as part of their studies and begin to question the people of the area, finding out that just about everyone there has a friend of a friend who knows someone who was murdered by the Candyman. This vengeful spectre appears when you say his name five times and eviscerates the caller with a vicious hook which he has in replacement for his hand which he lost many years previously. You see, legend has it that the Candyman used to be a black painter back in the days when people of colour were slaves in the US, he himself being the son of a slave but making a living from his paintings. He had an affair with a rich landowner’s daughter impregnated her leading to his violent death at the hands of a self-righteous mob. They beat him, burned him, cut off his hand which is the signifier of his work, before dousing him in honey and letting loose an angry mob of bees upon him and ultimately lynching him...which has to be just about the most violent death put into mainstream cinema incidentally. The people of the area almost worship him, even having an altar to which they lay sweets, the worship of a dark God, because to the poor populace that is effectively what he is, no matter how spiteful, he is the one thing which makes their community different and gives them a sense of identity as it were. Our two students Helen(Virginia Madsen) and Bernadette(Kasi Lemmons) travel into the region to gain as much information as possible, but unfortunately they come into contact wi
th more than they bargained for... Bernard Rose, whose previous work has included the very creepy Paperhouse, certainly knows how to hold a viewer’s attention. He employs a variety of camera techniques to create the maximum spooky effect and no shot seems wasted or superfluous...well apart from the seemingly tacked on Wes Craven style ending which is hugely out of synch with the rest of the movie. He creates a tense atmosphere without the need to revel in the blood and gore factor which lesser directors use to sell their work, instead he uses the far more effective technique of giving a flash of the carnage, just enough to let us know we should be unsettled but not enough to register why. The casting of Tony Todd as the Candyman too was a great decision, his deep, gravely voice may sound a little like a cartoon bad-guy at times but other than that he is more than suitably menacing. Ultimately playing the psycho in a slasher movie, he doesn’t fall into the trap of mindlessly swinging a blade around but instead really goes at his work with gusty...complete with grunts and obvious straining at the effort of ploughing a rather wicked looking hook through muscle and bone...yeah I know, cute huh? The gore may not stay onscreen for too long, but the squelching, ripping sound effects leave you in no doubt as to what is going on...again, its far more effective to show some initial gore and then let the viewer’s mind take over here which is something Rose knows all too well. He knows he can’t portray the level of violence which our obviously sick minds can do for him, so he doesn’t even try, but instead just gives us a nudge in the right direction. Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons both play their parts well as well, Madsen at least reprising the kind of strong female role set in stone by Halloween, but with far more intellect than Jamie Lee Curtis was ever allowed to display. Madsen’s role is more investigative and intrigued than v
ictim or heroine, hers is a role which allows Rose a foil for which to relay his story. Candyman never offers the easy way out for the viewer. We are not held by the hand and lead down a pre-defined route by either the story r direction but instead are given clues and visuals which can be taken in more than one way. You are asked to make the decision about what you are seeing rather than Rose telling you outright that its either one thing or another and two people watching the same movie will easily come up with two different examples of what the final(or what should have been the final) scene with the writing on the wall actually means...effectively you have a movie which can be two different things and it is up to you to decide what it all means. It is rare that a horror movie leaves you with talking points at the end, but Candyman is certainly one which offers more than just one which is something that Rose should be highly commended for. If there is one criticism to level at this movie it would again be at a piece of rather lazy film-making and the atrocious tacked on ending. Rose uses far too many ‘BOO!’ scenes here, which whilst easy and effective, begin to wear a bit thin towards the end. No one minds the occasional one, in fact, they expect it in a horror movie, but this many times just leaves you cold. As to the ending, well its as if someone in the studio demanded the ‘he’s dead...arrghh no he isn’t!’ style of ending which seems to be a horror prerequisite(and thus lampooned mercilessly by Scream for example) and the staple fare of someone like Wes Craven. Rose isn’t Craven he is a more subtle and intelligent director than Craven and yet for some reason it appears he almost tries to emulate him with this ending...perhaps he desired at least one movie which garnered the same kind of success as a Nightmare On Elm Street, Scream etc.? Who knows. Either way, its an ending which seems totally like an a
fterthought, stapled on to the real end of the movie which came a few minutes earlier. All things considered, Candyman is one of the top, and certainly most intelligent movies to be added in recent years to the horror genre. Well, I say recent years, but its over ten years old now...doesn’t time just fly by? Still, it means that you also have two sequels to watch as well if you like this one, inferior of course but passable nonetheless. Definitely one I would recommend to any horror fan, or maybe even general movie fan if they can stomach this kind of thing because it is rather good...just don’t have nightmares you hear?
Cliver Barker gave us some dazzling stories at the beginning of his career, and though 'The Forbidden' was not one of his best, it formed the basis of first-rate horror movie. A tale of urban myth and violence, the film centers on a folklore student's investigation into the local bogeyman, the 'Candyman', who is being blamed for a series of murders in a squalid housing project. Before long, she is drawn deep into the myth itself and entwined in an increasingly terrifying chain of events... The film relocates the story from Toxteth to Chicago and makes the considered decision to make the the figure of the Candyman a black man savagely murdered in the nineteenth century by a lynch mob. It is an inspired decision, and one that brings the collective guilt of modern white America to the center of the story. The film successful for two reasons. Firstly, it works on the primal level that every horror film must if it is to claim to be a horror film. In this case, that irrational fear we have of the bogeymen that have populated our stories since we began telling them. Also, the temptation and dread of the forbidden act, in this case the repetition four times of the Candyman's name while standing in front of the mirror. All these elements are present in this film. Tony Todd is compelling as the Candyman. Largely silent, he is a confrontational, imposing figure whilst retaining the kind of tragic self-awareness that made Klaus Kinski such a sympathetic monster in Werner Herzog's 'Nosferatu'. And the long pauses before those fatal fourth times his name is spoken in front of the mirror are capriciously milked for all their worth by director Bernard Rose. I first saw this film at a late night screening on a Friday night...within minutes Rose had reduced even the most outrageously drunk to a quivering wreck ! But the film works on another level, too. It is not only a horror story, it is a film abou
t the horror story itself, burrowing into those urban myths of the predatory outsider. Where I grew up, in the leafy suburbs of Surrey, there was the tale of escaped lunatic who beheaded his victims and used their decapitated heads to knock on the doors of their relatives houses. It was as though the cruelness of the community's stigmatisation and isolation of the mentally ill was being reflected back on them in the form of myth. In this film, it is the brutal treatment of black slaves that is being reflected back on the community, in the form of the vengeful Candyman. What makes the film so interesting is this intelligent treatment of that blurred distinction between reality, myth and fiction. The street gangs who terrorise the neighbourhood dressed as the Candyman, his name amongst the graffiti on the walls, and most importantly the Candyman's awareness of his own mythical status. He enjoys being "spoken about on every street corner, but never to have to exist", and realises that in order for him to exist, his myth must be continually rejuvenated - in short, there needs to be more killings, and there needs to be a further twists to the legend. And the film does not disappoint with its twists, which are deliciously imaginative, not to mention horrific. What does disappoint is the 'surprise ending' which looks like it might have been tacked on after pre-release screenings. It could also be said that the film's reliance on shock tactics, whilst expertly deployed, results in a film that diminishes in impact with every viewing. Though there is much here to enjoy second time around, not least a remarkable soundtrack by Philip Glass which lends a great deal of pathos to the deteriorating urban landscapes. Two vastly inferior sequels followed. Lets hope they don't make a third...you know the rumours circulating among Hollywood directors - tell the same story four times and the crew meet a grisly death ? Christ,
considering today's indulgently self-referential horror movie climate, that sounds like a plot in itself - Wes Craven's probably writing the script as I speak...
This film came out in 1992 and a sequel was made to this as well, which was quite similar. The story is about the main character called Helen. She is a researcher into urban myths and legends. The latest one she is working on is the Candyman legend. As legend goes if you say his name 5 times while looking in the mirror then he will appear behind you. A situation had meant to have happened to a young girl and that is why Helen is researching. Also her friend helps her with the work. They interview people, go around housing estates and take loads of pictures to try and piece together the clues of this mythical murderer. I don't want to reveal much of the film as it would spoil it, but Helen finds out a lot about the myth and gets to the truth. It is one of the better horror films I have seen - not because I think it is scary, it is well written, makes you think and is different to other horror films I have seen. It may be coming up to 10 years old, but I could still watch it nowadays and still sit through it!
Want a movie to watch on halloween? if you want to watch a good horror movie that is not predicatble, and is brilliantly shot, you can't do better than the Candyman. The basic plot of the film is that a women who is researching urban legends, is interviewing people, about the candyman, a man who has a hook on one hand as is called by repeating his name five times. Which is exactly, what she does and guess who comes to town. Instead of just killing people and going home, he incriminates the women, to make it look like she is the one doing the crimes. and of course everyone thinks it is her because it would be stupid to belive that a man with a hook, is doing it. The camera work is really good and you see the camera from up high looking down, while hearing the candyman speak. It has started to age a little in its 8 years but is a still a good film that should be watched around this time.
This film, together with a couple of the Nightmare on Elm Street and The Exorcist, is my favourite Horror flick of all time. It mixes a great soundtrack with a superb story about an urban myth with some excellent scenes that first make you jump out your seats and then make you cringe. You never really know what is going to happen next and I can honestly say that I would watch this movie over and over again even though I know what is going to happen next. There is no point me telling you the storyline as it would spoil the film. Also, i would say that I think Candyman 2 is still a very good sequel unlike other sequels!
Based on a story by Clive Barker and skilfully written and directed by Bernard Rose, Candyman rises above most horror films by eerily suggesting that some urban legends--in this case a particularly frightening one--have a spooky basis in reality. The legend of the Candyman is a potent one around the high-rise tenements of Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing complex, where the residents speak of a dark, ominous figure who appears when his victims say his name five times in front of a mirror, then mercilessly slashes them to death. Upon learning that the Candyman is rumoured to live in one of the vacant tenements, a University of Illinois researcher (Virginia Madsen) investigates a recent murder at Cabrini-Green. She learns that the Candyman (played by Tony Todd) is both unreal and chillingly real--a supernatural force of evil empowered by those who believe in his legend. He is a killer made flesh by the belief of others, and the young researcher's investigation is a threat to his existence. What happens next? We wouldn't dare spoil the chills, but rest assured that writer-director Rose has tapped into a wellspring of urban angst and fear, and Candyman serves up its gruesome frights with a refreshing dose of intelligence. --Jeff Shannon