Cult Movies 101: Candy Man
Although the killer in those horror flicks can cause massive fright and nightmares, the horrific effect is only short term. “Candyman” is quite different. The fear induced here can stick with you for a lifetime. The creepy score and frightful urban legend have a way of sticking around.
Helen Lyle [Virginia Madsen] is a graduate student who conducts research for her thesis on Urban Legends. While she interviews several students about their superstitions, she hears about a local legend known as Candyman. The legend of Candyman consists of a man who has hook for a hand and if you shut off the lights, stare in the mirror and say his name five times, he will appear and kill you. If this thought is not scary enough, this film will always have you look over your shoulder the next time you decide to look in the mirror- even if you see your own reflection. Not to mention attempting to shut off the lights and actually say the words Candyman five times.
While Lyle continues to conduct her research about the Candyman, she finally comes face to face with the man with the hook for a hand, and because of her disbelief in him, he proves to her that he is real. After Helen’s encounter with the Candyman, she blacks out and then wakes up in to discover horrific events. This continues to occur to Helen every time she encounters the Candyman.
Overall, “Candyman” is a vintage 90s horror film, the plot and characters seem to fit concisely, and the blood and gore are truly authentic. Where this film truly excels is with the score and setting. The Cabrini-Green housing project, where most of the film takes place, gives a feel of fright and discomfort. When the Candyman does appear, his presence and voice alone will have you shiver, even enough to make you forget you have goosebumps. Throughout the film you’ll discover how the legend of Candyman came about, and the end result will will leave you squeamish.
The great parts about this film are the performances from Madsen, who is courageous and tough as nails and Tony Todd as Candyman himself. His presence alone makes you want to turn away from the screen. What puts the icing on the cake however is the climax; so much that you would not want to turn off the lights when you go to bed the same night.
For a 90s horror movie, “Candyman” is unique in a way that the fright can stick with you for a long time. Aside from Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Kruger, Candyman has a certain fear that although is an urban legend- you should be hesitant to try and summon him.
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