Candyman ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"I am the writing on the walls. I'm the sweet smell of blood on the street. The buzz that echoes in the alleyways. They will say I shed innocent blood. You are far from innocent, but they'll say you were. That's all that matters."

A near perfect sequel to one of the most iconic & haunting horror movies to ever do it. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II shines in a wonderful performance that is so fitting to a modern day take on the story of CANDYMAN. One of the aspects that made the original film so effective was its commentary on racial discrimination in urban areas by people who are in positions of power and this movie encapsulates that with surgical precision.

The direction in this is top notch, more than once I was taken aback by the chilling shots used whenever our hook-laden killer was onscreen. Nia DaCosta shows not only her talents as a director with these shots, but a true understanding of the terror & allure that CANDYMAN oozes with just the mere mention of his name. Couple that with the racial commentary that never felt out of place & was always poignant, as well as some incredible kill scenes, and you have a beautiful albeit devastating work of art that truly captures the essence & overall message of Bernard Rose's original film.

I'm not going to act like I know how people of color struggle every day, I simply don't. I never could. But other than being a very solid horror movie, CANDYMAN has always left much to dwell on after viewing and this iteration is no different. There is no questioning the awful discrimination POC go through & have gone through for hundreds of years at the hands of white people, and while things have gotten better by comparison, there is still an enormous amount of work to be done.

What makes this film and the original before it so special is that it takes those fears that are experienced by so many & opens them wide for all to witness. A light is shone onto the horrors of being a person of color in America and the way they are treated by the ones who are supposed to protect them. The ending of the film as well as the end credits portray this in a way that holds nothing back, in a way that fully shows you the things that go on & have been going on for far too long. CANDYMAN is living proof of the social commentary that permeates throughout the horror genre and movies as a whole as time goes on, and does so in a way that is evocative of some of the most thought-provoking pieces I've seen.

Remember the way this movie made you feel, but more importantly remember the real-life atrocities that inspire it.

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