‘Candyman’ sparks flames; Viewers compare new film to predecessor


Universal Pictures

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II starring in the new Candyman. The sequel continued the mythology behind the violence in 2021.


“I originally really wanted to see it [Candyman] but I wasn’t so excited when I went to see it because I heard that it wasn’t that great,” states junior Alyssa Dunn, “plus, after seeing it, it wasn’t better than the original.” Candyman 2021 is the “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror classic starring Virginia Madsen and Vanessa Williams, says Odie Henderson of Roger Ebert.

     Candyman follows an artist who is researching the superstitions surrounding the myth about blades being out in children’s candy. The artist did not realize that by doing so he starts to unravel his sanity and unleash a shockwave of violence. “I liked that this sequel focused more on the myth behind it all, but it was more of a remake than a sequel,” says the junior. 

     “The original “Candyman,” written and directed by Bernard Rose, is more icky than scary, but it has a real sting,” states Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, “the pain wasn’t exquisite, as Candyman promised, but it had its moments.” Dargis describes that in the sequel ‘Candyman’ seems to be on hiatus in the beginning as it is in a present setting, “as the blood begins to gush and the body count rises, the story takes shape, as does the somewhat tense domestic life of the painter.” 

     “I think the main star [Yahya Abdul-Mateen II] did an amazing job, as well as the rest of the cast,” says Dunn. The cast was better in the sequel but the new one wasn’t as scary as the first, elaborates Dunn. “Bernard Rose’s horror classic, adapted from a Clive Barker story, essentially had every element needed to create an iconic horror film,” says Tom Joliffe of Flickering Myth. Joliffe also emphasizes that the cast and character choices were “superb choices”, “Abdul-Mateen II is great as is Parris. Bringing the baby back from the original as our new protagonist was also a great idea. Indeed, Vanessa Williams returns as McCoy again.”

     Joliffe continues to explain the differences between the two movies, “the story [the new Candyman] rings differently to the reality of the first film [the original Candyman]. This plays on the notion of old wives tales and backstreet horror stories.”

     “Overall, I think the new one was good. I just don’t think the hype equaled the reality of how good it was,” states Dunn. Joliffe confirms Dunn’s statement, “it didn’t have a lingering nightmarish feel like Rose’s film [the original]. We also have a little too much going on and side plots that don’t often lead anywhere.” Dunn explains that she also didn’t like to see so many side plots that led to nowhere, “a lot of the additions to the movie’s plot didn’t actually contribute to the story.”