Continuing from the first film, which featured in 1992, Candyman (2021) is set in 2019. It’s been an entire decade since Cabrini towers were completely torn down. This new instalment follows Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who lives with his girlfriend, Brianna (Teyonah Parris).
Anthony is a talented artist, but his work is repeated and average when he displays it for an upcoming show. But after hearing stories about the urban legend Candyman, Anthony begins to investigate and soon is ignited with a passion for painting something unlike anything he’s done before. But while his new artwork is exciting and different, Anthony begins to be stalked by the legend himself and goes down a very unlikely dark path that involves blood and darkness.
I’m proud to announce; this film is most certainly a worthy sequel. This sequel rehashes elements from the first film and even brings moments of nostalgia to life once again. The horror aspect is most certainly a strength, and I found myself horrified and even disgusted multiple times. Creativity is used in the horror aspects, and at times some of the best moments occur off-screen or even through minor details, such as seeing Candyman’s shadow appear. Several moments are quick and brief but still highly effective. Seeing Candyman walk past in the background or on the corner of the screen even made me question the legend and feel paranoid.
Candyman isn’t just a horror film though. Like the original film, this instalment contains various political and public themes, which are strongly represented throughout the film (especially during the third act and finale).
Performances are excellent, and I truly enjoyed Yahya Abdul-Mateen as Anthony. Anthony was likeable even when darkness begins within him. Actress Teyonah Parris, who plays his girlfriend, also delivers a good performance filled with determination and strength. Side characters can have moments that feel over the top or even cheesy but don’t forget; this is a horror film.
The audio track receives two thumbs up from me. It’s highly effective and works wonderfully right from the start. All the details here add to the suspenseful moments, and the sound design made me want to hide in my cinema seat. The score is fairly light, but again, praiseworthy and effective.
Overall, this is a worthy sequel and horror film. As a sequel, it successfully reintroduces nostalgia from the original and introduces new concepts. Again, like the original, it contains a strong political message that is highly relevant today. The top performances are great, and the audio track is certainly applaud worthy. This film only left me ever so slightly stumped on a couple of minor elements, especially relating to aspects of the plot. No matter, it’s a solid addition that will have fans walking away from the cinema with confidence that they won’t be game to say his name five times anytime soon. Candyman (2021) is Now Available in Cinemas.