candyman

"Candyman" isn't the scariest movie in the theaters, but it is definitely an interesting watch.

With Halloween approaching at the end of the month, the best way to get into the spooky spirit is by catching up with some newly released horror movies. The recent take on "Candyman" has hit theaters at the perfect time, but I doubt it will scare you very much.

The story follows artist Anthony McCoy as he looks to Cabrini-Green, a gentrified area of housing projects in Chicago, for inspiration for his new art show. McCoy then meets William Burke, a lifelong resident of Cabrini-Green who shares the neighborhood legend of Candyman. The legend of Candyman says that if you say his name five times in the mirror, he will appear to kill you. When Mcoy shows his art exhibition, he realizes that he has brought Candyman back. The movie follows McCoy's complicated plight of releasing Candyman back into Caprini-Green and all of the consequences that come along with it.

But it turns out that this 2021 version of "Candyman" is a partial sequel to the original 1992 version of this story. The original story was written and directed by a white man, but stars Black actors and is considered to be a paving moment for Black representation in the genre of horror.

This semi-sequel was directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by herself, Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld. All of these names have been directly tied to horror movies that puts emphasis on Black representation. But "Candyman" definitely doesn’t compare to renowned films like “Get Out” or “Us,” which were both written and directed by Peele himself.

The premise of "Candyman" was interesting, but after sitting through the 90-minute thriller, it seemed like the trailer was more exciting than the actual movie itself. The plot of the movie seemed to take on too many different political issues and couldn’t tie them together properly. The legend of Candyman was that he was this figure that has been perpetually tortured by white people all throughout history and is seeking revenge upon whoever summons him. The movie opens with Sherman Fields who was known for giving out candy around Caprini-Green, but there were some pieces that had razor blades in them, which made the police hunt him down and beat him until he was unrecognizable. But even after his brutal death, there were still razorblades in candy being passed around town and Fields takes on the role of Candyman in his afterlife.

It seemed like DaCosta was trying to make "Candyman" into a metaphor of white violence, police brutality, gentrification and generational trauma. But it was all too much and too hard to follow within the movie’s short runtime. If she had honed in on one particular issue and stuck with it throughout the movie, it would have been more impactful. All of the ingredients to make a good scary movie that has a meaningful message were in "Candyman"; the story just didn’t come together correctly.

The 2021 version of "Candyman" not only lacked in sense and meaning, but it also lacked in the horror department. There were some very gruesome parts of the movie where people who uttered his name five times were murdered brutally, but that was about it. Candyman didn’t really seem like a character to be terrified of. There were few moments of suspense, but every slight moment of fright was quickly ended by predictability.

If you are looking for an actually terrifying movie to kick off your Halloween season, I would look in the opposite direction of "Candyman." But if you are less interested in being frightened and more interested in trying to figure a movie out, "Candyman" is the perfect movie for you.

This is the opinion of Cerys Davies, a sophomore journalism major from Monterey Park, California. Email comments to editor@theloyolan.com. Follow and tweet comments to @LALoyolan on Twitter, and like the Loyolan on Facebook.

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