#307 -- Candyman (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose
Rating: 4 / 5

 I remember watching this as a kid with my little "boyfriend." The only parts of it I remembered were a bunch of bees coming out of Candyman's mouth, and some woman getting naked. I think the naked lady scared me more than anything, and I'm sure the boy was even more terrified by it than I was. These days, I understand that Candyman is something to be feared.

Helen was working on a thesis paper about the urban legend of a man called Candyman. He resides in the projects, and all the residents are terrified of him. The story says that, if you say his name five times in front of a mirror, that he'll show up behind you and kill you with a hook. At first, Helen was sure that this was just the peoples' way of putting an actual face to the problems (all the crime in their area) that they faced every day. As her research continued, she realized that there was much more to Candyman's story, and she started to believe that he might be more than mass delusion.

Candyman was the son of a former slave who fell in love with a slave owner's daughter. He impregnated the girl, and her father then swore vengeance on him. He ordered a mob to saw off his hand; they then covered his body with honey and unleashed a bee-hive on him. His hand was replaced by a hook, and he lived on throughout the years, killing anyone who dared to say his name. When Helen came into the picture, everything changed. He didn't want to just kill her; he wanted to take her for his bride. Every murder that Candyman committed was blamed on Helen. She ended up getting arrested and committed to a hospital. She had to figure out a way to defeat Candyman while proving her innocence (or at least staying away from the police long enough to fight him). I think that Candyman was trying to make her lose her mind. He planned on ruining her life to a point that she would actually wish for death and join him. His plan, for the most part, worked very well. But not without a price.

Candyman was actually adapted from a short story by Clive Barker called "The Forbidden." It's in a volume of short stories called "The Books of Blood." I actually never realized this. I knew that Barker had something to do with the movie, but I didn't know what. I haven't read the story or the book, but I can't wait to check it out. He has quickly become one of my favorite authors, and I know that the story must be genius, like everything else he does.

As far as the movie goes...Since I saw it at a young age, without having read the story (or knowing anything about it), I really like it. I feel like Candyman is an icon of horror, even though he doesn't get as much recognition as the other big name horror villains. I think the thing that makes Candyman so scary is Tony Todd. Todd is a great actor, and has definitely made a name for himself in the horror world. He's a big guy, and with that deep, rattling voice, he was the perfect choice for the role. And, of course, Clive Barker himself was involved in the production of the movie, and he wouldn't let them ruin something he created. It's an interested movie which tells a tale of not only supernatural horror, but also the horrors of everyday life in the slums. There is sadness, betrayal, and of course, lots of blood. Candyman has it all.

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