Review of CANDYMAN – Rated R – 1 hr. 31 mins.

“Whatever you do, just DON’T say his name…”

DIRECTOR:  Nia DaCosta

WRITERS:  Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta

STARRING:  Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett,

Coleman Domingo, Kyle Kaminsky, Brian King, Vanessa Williams, Rebecca Spencer and Michael Hargrove

Do you love psychological thrillers?  Do you believe in the legend of Candyman?  Well, if you were shaken to your core by Tony Todd’s presence, and performance in the 1992 original film, CANDYMAN, then you better get ready to settle in for Writer Jordan Peele, and Writer/Director Nia DaCosta’s take on this urban legend, as we venture into the Cabrini Towers of Chicago, first back in the day, and now in its present gentrified state, where we meet Artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Addul-Mateen II), and his girlfriend, Curator Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) residing.

Hearing about the legend of the hook-handed creeper Candyman, Anthony finds himself drawn not only to this story, but the man behind it, when he bumps into an old-timer from the Cabrini projects, who is more than happy to share the gory details about Candyman, and how, if you look into a mirror, and say his name 5 times, he will appear and wreak havoc on your world…

Excited to express these details about Candyman in his next art exhibition, Anthony focuses intensely on his work, as the details of the Candyman have somehow ignited a fire inside him, which he now finds himself expressing within his neo-expressionism paintings.

And now, as Anthony becomes more engrossed in bringing the Candyman to life, day by day, his new focus seems to be unraveling his relationship with the love of his life, as he literally seems to be losing his mind as the legend returns, bringing violence and death to anyone who dares to stare into a mirror, and utter his name…

I give CANDYMAN a rating of 7 out of 10:  Intriguing from the start, Jordan Peele manages to not only bring this CANDYMAN sequel to life with his perfectly orchestrated storyline, but he also manages to weave a societal issue within our country into the mere fabric of his latest creation.   CANDYMAN is definitely entertaining throughout, as lead Yahya Absul-Mateen II does a superb job of bringing focus and passion about your craft, and extreme madness, full force to the screen.  I was also very impressed with Teyonnah Parris’s performance throughout as the doting and loving girlfriend who just can’t seem to figure out what is happening to everyone who comes in contact with her once loving, but increasingly psychotic boyfriend.  But, as awesome as I thought these two performances were, I must also share that CANDYMAN lacks the intensity and grittiness that made me like a couple of Peele’s previous psychological thrillers, including 2017’s GET OUT and 2019’s US, which Peele both wrote and directed.  I’m anxious to see if Peele decides to take back over the Directing duties for his next creation, if this film, directed by Nia DaCosta, doesn’t hold up like his previous endeavors did at the box office.   If you love psychological thrillers, CANDYMAN is your kind of movie, as it does manage to draw you into this scary urban legend, and then some. Another reason why I find myself drawn to heading to the theater to catch Peele’s thrillers, is so that I can experience the way he manages to make your cerebral cells engage, way more than your screaming vocal cords…and without the intense blood, guts and gore that you find in many other films of this genre 

CANDYMAN – In Theaters August 27

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