"Reel Reviews: New ‘Candyman’ almost direct sequel from 1st movie, ignores other 2 films" by: Jessica Shepard

   While September is still squarely in the summer season, there’s been an uptick in horror, suspense and thriller films as of late and I’m totally here for it!
   I’m also hoping for more horror flicks as we head into autumn and spooky season, but, we’ll have to wait and see.
   I think my favorite part about this film is the use of shadow puppets rather than regularly filmed flashbacks or possible archived footage from the other films.
   Candyman is a supernatural slasher film directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and DaCosta.
   The film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name and the fourth film in the Candyman film series, based on the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker – which I didn’t know!
   The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Michael Hargrove, and Colman Domingo along with Vanessa Williams, Tony Todd, and Virginia Madsen who reprise their roles from the original film.
   It is rated R for bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references, and runs for 91 minutes.
   Thirty years after the events of the first film, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Mateen) lives in Chicago with his art gallery director girlfriend Brianna Cartwright (Parris).
   Brianna’s brother Troy (Jarrett) shares the urban legend of Helen Lyle (Madsen), a graduate student who went on a killing spree in the early 1990s.
   Her rampage culminated in a bonfire outside the Cabrini-Green housing project when she attempted to sacrifice a baby.
   The residents were able to rescue the child before Helen perished in the fire in an apparent act of self-immolation.
   Desperate for a creative spark to turn his career around, Anthony roams around Cabrini-Green for inspiration.
   He eventually meets William Burke (Domingo), a laundromat owner who introduces him to the story of the Candyman.
   When Burke was a child, he had a frightening encounter with Sherman Fields (Hargrove), a hook-handed man whom the police believed was responsible for putting a razor blade in a piece of candy that ended up in the hands of a white girl.
   Burke inadvertently alerted the police to Sherman’s presence inside the walls of one of the tower blocks, leading them to beat Sherman to death.
   When children continued to receive candy with razor blades inside, Sherman was exonerated.
   The legend implies that if somebody says “Candyman” five times to a mirror, Sherman’s spirit will appear and kill the summoner.
   Inspired, Anthony develops an art exhibit based on Candyman’s legend and showcases it at Brianna’s art gallery.
   He is dismayed when it does not get a positive reaction.
   That night, one of Brianna’s co-workers and his girlfriend are slaughtered by the Candyman after saying his name five times in front of a piece of Anthony’s exhibit consisting of a mirror.
   Brianna discovers their bodies the next morning.
   The legend spreads, and more people are killed after repeating the Candyman’s name, including an art critic and a group of teenage girls.
   Anthony begins to undergo a physical transformation, stemming from a bee sting he received on his hand in Cabrini-Green which develops into a huge scab that starts spreading across his entire body.
   With the transformation comes hallucinations, nightmares, and a flurry of artistic mania that scares his girlfriend.
   Overall, this iteration of Candyman searches to bridge the 30-year divide between the first film and now while keeping to the bare basics of the urban legend.
   I definitely enjoyed it for its poetic carnage and sprinkled comedic moments throughout, so, I’m fully endorsing it for the big screen!

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