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Nia DaCosta‘s CANDYMAN is both a sequel and a revision of Bernard Rose‘s horror classic CANDYMAN from 1992, which was progressive in terms of Black visibility in horror, but was told from a White perspective.


Bernard Rose's 1992 film CANDYMAN was about Helen, a White graduate student who during her field studies caomes across the urban legend of the Candyman, a hookhanded spirit who kills anybody daring to say his name five times in front of a mirror. During her excursions Helen is also confronted with the life-realities of the Black inhabitants of the Chicago area Cabrini Green. While the film was progressive in terms of PoC visibility, its point-of-view was still a strictly White one. Nia DiCosta's 2020 sequel of the same name corrects this. Here a Black artist/curator couple moves into a Cabrini Green which has been wholly gentrified in the meantime. Looking for inspiration, artist Anthony hears the myth of the Candyman, with the story of the 1992 film having become one amongst several. Here, Candyman symbolizes something more universal, which Anthony is unable to get out of his head. The film uses Anthony's search to analyse and deconstruct the horror genre as well as social developments in the USA. However, as a horror film does not work entirely without questionable decisions, there are still enough instances of people who are otherwise popculturally savy unable to resist the mirror dare and soon regretting it. Here the film can score with some wonderfully inventive sequences using surreal dread rather than jump scares but never ignoring the sentence from the first film: "What is blood for, if not for shedding?". Including further visual as well as musical references to Bernard Rose's film, the new CANDYMAN is simultaneously a sequel and mirror-image of the first film, putting focus of details hidden in the background up to now. It is therefore advisably to watch both versions (but skip the two sequels from the 1990s.)

Christian Klose


USA 2020, 120 min
Language: English
Genre: Horror, Literary Film Adaptations
Director: Nia DaCosta
Author: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld
DOP: John Guleserian
Music: Robert A.A. Lowe
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Vanessa Williams, Tony Todd
FSK: 16
Release: 26.08.2021




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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