Mesa Legend
Dynamic cinematography also elevate "Candyman" to another level. (Courtesy of MGM Studios)

‘Candyman’ sequel gives social commentary, callbacks and the creeps

The “Candyman” sequel takes on social commentary while making you fear the name of the hook-handed boogeyman hiding in the mirror. With callbacks to the original, the new “Candyman” is deeply engrossing, leaving one feeling an overwhelming sense of dread. 

“Candyman” centers around a young, promising and talented artist named Anthony. His new art installation focuses on the past brutalities of the now newly gentrified neighborhood of Cabrini-Green in Chicago.  

After unleashing the urban legend, Anthony begins to see him in reflections. With a bee sting that needed serious medical attention, Anthony and Candyman become supernaturally connected. 

While researching for his art piece, he meets a man who lived in Cabrini-Green back when it was the projects in the late 70s. He tells Anthony what Candyman really is: a man wrongly accused of putting razor blades in candy and subsequently beaten to death for it by the cops. 

People connected to Anthony and his art piece soon try out the urban legend of invoking Candyman five times, and are brutally murdered by a being only visible in a reflection. 

When Anthony learns the truth about what really happened to Helen Lyle, a heroine from the first film, he breaks down and tries to seek help, only to be led even further into the threat of Candyman. 

For a horror movie, it provided great jump scares and gory deaths, but don’t mistake it for a typical slasher movie. Lots of drama and tension provided the overwhelming feeling of dread, which is scarier than any bloody death. 

The cinematography was stunning. Moments like interesting angles, a pulled out wide shot of one snobbish art critic, and shadow puppetry all enhanced the story, the visuals and the intensity from scene to scene. 

With one of the scriptwriters being one of the most influential horror directors and writers of the time, Jordan Peele continues to comment on continually oppressive injustices including gentrification, poverty and police brutality.

While some people might view this film as going over the top with its message of inequality, I think back to what the first movie did showing a interracial couple. Social commentary in horror movies can be traced back to the beginning; it’s nothing new to the genre. 

Overall, the new “Candyman” sequel is dreadful, intense and nerve wracking in the best way possible. It terrifies you to the core but makes you think and look hard at the ugly side of America. Whatever you do, just don’t say his name.