Double Take: C For Candyman

Say his name five times in the mirror and turn off the light. Candyman will appear.

So leave it to my brother to take me to see this movie when I was only 11 years old. It was him that got me into all this horror and supernatural movies. So for anyone who has seen this movie, you know how bloody, gory, and terrifying it is. I am 11 years old, in a big theatre, it’s dark, loud surround sound, and me a frightened little kid who had no one to hide under because everyone else in the theatre was afraid too. With each jump scare and spooky music composed by Phillip Glass, I was hyperventilating in the movie theatre. Something that has never happened to me before. I had nightmares for weeks and couldn’t even use the bathroom or look in the mirrors for a while.

Back in 1992, a movie called Candyman, directed by Bernard Rose and written by Clive Barker, hit theatres and with the help of the unknown actor at the time Tony Todd created one of the best horror villain icons still talked about till this day. It has been a long while since I have seen this movie. Does it still have what it takes to scare the crap out of me like the film did before? I wonder if this 24-year-old movie stood the test of time as one of the creepiest films ever made.

“Sweets To The Sweet”

candyman1From the start you get this twinge of fear as you hear the music of an organ playing in the background, the camera flying over the streets of Chicago. Two ambitious women Helen and Bernadette played by Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons, decide they want to write a thesis on the legendary but urban legend of Candyman. This is a good ol’ fashioned revenge on racism as they picked the wrong black man to mess with. The legend in question bedded the wrong women back in 1890 and the result was him being killed for simply falling in love. That is when the legend is created that with a hook for a hand, he will appear if you say his name 5 times in a mirror with the lights off. Helen is more of the ambitious one and as she digs further into the story trying to prove he doesn’t exist, she is lead to believe that the stories are true and that she is in way over her head if no one can believe her.

This movie had a different effect on me now that I am over to understand the story behind the scary images. Don’t get me wrong, this movie still is pretty effective on the scares, but there was some meaning to this story that is kind of sad. It’s really tricky when it comes to urban legends. Just like Freddy Kruger, Candyman only became stronger with word of mouth. If no one believed in him, he wouldn’t exist. Funny how that works right? So for the first part of the movie you get a lot of narrative from different people regarding stories people have heard about a friend of a friend’s uncle, who has a cousin who knows someone, that died because they tried to summon Candyman. I like this method of storytelling literally because how else do rumors and urban legends become strong, by telling the story over and over again. When she has heard enough about him, he is ready to appear. He then slowly makes her life a living hell for doubting his existence isolating her from everyone until she has nothing and nowhere to go except for her to surrender to him.

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Just the sound of this man’s voice will tempt you to just push stop and no longer watch the movie. There are the obligatory jump scares but they were done in a creative way that you don’t see most of them coming. There is a lot of blood in this movie so prepare for that. Because the movie is so gruesome it basically tells the audience that there are no rules and that anything can happen and anyone can die. You will hear screams that make you want to cover your ears because nothing is worse than hearing screams from someone in pain. The images created in this movie are brilliant. The atmosphere and sets created are captivating giving you that unsafe feeling. There is also something about a movie that doesn’t use music in every scene, especially ones that have a little action in them. Gives it more of realism to your experience. Some would say that this movie’s villain is someone to cheer for as everyone had it coming or he was due his revenge because he was wrongfully killed. This movie can still give the gullible and easily afraid person nightmares and I’d still say that even though this was made in the 90’s this movie still doesn’t come off cheesy or fake with its effects. After watching it again, my heart is still pounding.

+1 creepy, visually stunning, edge of your seat suspense.
+1 Great acting from Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd
+1 Writing was good. Tone of the movie was straight to the point. Once the fun started it never stopped.
+1 I still recommend this movie to anyone looking to watch an old school horror movie without a lot of CGI
+1 You can definitely watch this movie again. I found something new even watching it this time around.

5 out of 5 points

Comment below with your opinion of the movie if you happened to have seen it before. Also, if you have been reading this entry out loud and happen to have a mirror in your room, you will know that you said his name 5 times. I dare you to turn off the lights.

 

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