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Candyman (2021)

Reviews

8/10: A Good Movie, but an Anemic Chiller
Sunday, October 24, 2021

Little Woods" director Nia DaCosta's lackluster "soul sequel" to Bernard Rose's seminal Gothic masterpiece "Candyman" (1992) qualifies as an anemic allegory about the evils of racial oppression and urban gentrification. Basically, DaCosta and scenarists Jordan Peel & Win Rosenfeld have forged a horror movie in the crucible of critical race theory. Specifically, critical race theory (CRT) argues white supremacy has subjugated minorities of color throughout America's history. Sadly, this superbly lensed and hauntingly scored chiller qualifies as far more topical than it is terrifying. The choice of the notorious Cabrini-Green Housing Project in Chicago as a setting qualifies as a damning enough indictment of white supremacy. Unfortunately, little about this introspective, R-rated, 91-minute movie will give you the shivers. Mind you, I've seen the new "Candyman" four times in theaters, and nobody has howled in horror. Since its late August debut, this $25 million Universal release has virtually doubled its budget at the box...

7/10: Candyman
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

When I saw the trailer, I assumed this was going to be a remake of the cult 90s scary movie (that's what happens when filmmakers use the same title in recent years. In fact, it is a direct sequel, which was delayed by COVID, I was very excited when it was finally released, written and produced by Jordan Peele (Get Out). Basically, in Chicago, it has been thirty years since the events at the Cabrini-Green housing project. Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is a visual artist who has recently moved into an apartment with his girlfriend, art gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris). One night, Brianna's brother Troy (Misfits' Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) shares the urban legend of Helen Lyle, a graduate student who went on a killing spree in the early 1990s. Her rampage culminated in a bonfire outside Cabrini-Green when she attempted to sacrifice a baby. The residents were able to rescue the child...

3/10: I wanted to love it
Thursday, September 23, 2021

Someone on my social feeds posted the other day that they still couldn't get this movie out of their mind days after watching it and I wondered, "Where did they get the version of this film that I so desperately wanted to see?"Because after what feels like years of delays, this film finally was released and I'm struggling, quite honestly, to remember much of it. And what I do recall isn't that good. It felt unfocused at best, scattered and boring at worst.Which is a shame, because Candyman is one of the most unexpected and near-perfect horror films I've ever seen, a movie that effortlessly combined menace, terror, social commentary and reflected the world outside, all things that this movie shoots for and watches the ball circle the rim without ever scoring.But hey -- what do I know? It made $68 million worldwide against a $25 million budget.The story of the first...

2/10: Never Say His Name Again
Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Okay, maybe I should've brought a mirror with me to say his name 5x in the opening act to save me from the remaining torture.What a surprisingly dull, listless, unscary and aimless horror sequel. It felt like the writers told the producers they have some great ideas and to just give them a couple of months to perfect them to which the producers replied: How's this weekend for your final draft?One thing I love hearing in comedic movie reviews online: Don't ever reference better movies in your bad movie. Well, this one constantly referenced the original with the great and highly missed duo: Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd. They were so integral, smart, deep and fun, they were that whole movie's heartbeat. Here, in this 2021 third sequel, you'll have none of that. Well, except for everyone, again, referencing them repeatedly.Let me get through the synopsis so I can end this misery...

8/10: Better than expected reboot of a '90s classic slasher flick
Monday, September 13, 2021

CANDYMAN (2021) *** Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Kyle Kaminsky, Vanessa Williams, Brian King, Miriam Moss, Rebecca Spence, Michael Hargrove. (Cameos - Tony Todd & the voice of Virginia Madsen) Nia DaCosta's imaginative reboot of the 90s slasher flick updates the vengeance seeking demon with a Buppie couple (artist Abdul-Mateen & curator Parris) setting up shop in the bougie new confines of the mythical Cabrini-Green projects of Chicago where the urban legend of the titular spirit is resurrected when the painter begins to invoke the bogeyman for his own personal interests, unleashing a bloodletting as well as a nightmarish discovery. Executive produced by Jordan Peele - who co-wrote with DaCosta and Win Rosenfeld - the effective production design and atmospheric scoring by Rober Aiki Aubrey Lowe pairs incredibly with the handsomely shot cinematography of John Gulesarian employing effectively the dread building up

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