Candyman’s remake doesn’t live up to initial expectations
Candyman (2021), a direct sequel to fan favorite ’90s horror, hits theaters this fall and has garnered mixed reviews. Directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written with Jordan Peele, the new Candyman is a tale of urban Chicago legend from the perspective of a black artist looking back.
The original film, directed by Bernard Rose, stars Virginia Madsen as Helen Lyle, a graduate student researching murders linked to an urban legend at a housing project in Cabrini-Green. Legend tells the story of a man with hooked hands who appears when you say Candyman five times in the mirror. The story arouses her interest and she is inspired to undertake the project of debunking the mystery.
The original remains famous among fans and left high expectations for the remake. This mediocre interpretation, however, does nothing significant to contribute to the horror genre. The story follows Anthony McCoy, played by Yahya Abdul Mateen II, an artist unraveling Candyman’s past stories only to be consumed by horrors himself. With many famous actors starring, the film itself has so much potential, which has made this failed brand more and more underwhelming.
In the movie there are some points where the actors fell below the disappointing line with below average acting, for example Clive Privler, actor Brain King, has a sex scene with Jerrica Cooper ( Miriam Moss) and acting was extremely redundant and unexpressed, plus a powerful scene then part of the cinematography created. This is not an uncommon scene in the film as many parts resembled a high school theater club among the professional actors.
The overcompensation of basic repetitiveness on the description of gentrification presents itself more like a college essay. When Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul Mateen II) is told to find new inspiration and says his struggles on the south side are too “overplayed”, McCoy turns to other forms of oppression for his artistic gain. The irony of portraying an artist exploiting black pain for art in this film seems almost too overwhelming for the amount of brutal police brutality haphazardly conjured up throughout the film.
The movie itself fits perfectly with Hollywood’s obsession with making black struggle its own and shows it through the horror genre, selling the burden of people of color in neat packaging. While there have been themes brought up that are “culturally healthy,” like the scene with Anthony McCoy and William Burke in the laundry mat connecting on mutual trauma, this is repetitive performance activism, instead of paving the way for more inclusive creative films. as if it fills the poor place of accommodating others as a checklist instead of a new way to pave the way for better movies.
With Jordan Peele’s track record, our expectations were high for an original film with a touch of whitewashed revision. Get Out, and Us present different versions of our cinematography expectations. The script and Dialogue alone grabbed a reference to a deeper meaning and this is just another example of films reaching a nullified culture.
The film received mixed reviews on release, but has steadily increased to 72% viewership on Rotten Tomatoes, filling a void in a starving and pandemic box office. The film grossed $ 58.9 million domestically, placing it 12th in the year. “Candyman” doubled its budget by $ 25 million.
Overall, the movie itself was underrated compared to the first movie. With its inability to appeal to the undone culture and its half-and-half acting, the film itself needed more than described in the hour and thirty minutes. The expectation puts the wrong perspective on both the cast and the director on their future endeavors.