After the film’s theatrical debut, Candyman will be a name that audiences will want to recite over and over again. The long-awaited sequel ignores previous installments and stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen as Anthony McCoy II, a horror artist who draws inspiration from Chicago’s now-gentrified Cabrini-Green. He then gets sucked into Candyman’s lore. Teyonah Paarris plays his girlfriend and gallery director Brianna Cartwright. Colman Domingo plays William Burke, an elderly neighborhood resident. Carl Clemons–Hopkins plays Jameson.
The film is a chilling, clever and well-directed by DaCosta. It injects new life into the film series that was previously in limbo with the 1999 installment Candyman Day of the Dead. While paying homage to the original film’s terrifying horrors, Candyman is a chilling and clever film. The director told ET’s Lauren Zima that she is a huge fan and that she would approach it from the point of view of someone who loves the legend and wants to see what the story can do. She admits that there was pressure from making a “Jordan Peele movie”, but she was also “just like, we need a movie that makes sense, and that’s good.”
Filmed in Chicago in 2019, the movie featured scenes shot in the abandoned row houses. “We knew that we wanted to return to Cabrini-Green. But when we got there, we were like, “Oh, it’s not there anymore.” It’s almost a ghost town,” DaCosta said. “And all around it, there’s all that development, so we knew we had to tell the story about what happened and where it was now to tell this story.” She says that the film’s themes of gentrification, appropriation and other issues grew from real-life events. She continues, explaining that the film’s themes were derived from being on the ground and speaking with people in the community. Domingo said, “I’m very proud to the film and that it’s taken with it,” and was happy with the way it “takes this urban mythology” and brings it to modern audiences. “UniversalCandyman” also follows a new era in horror, with a focus on marginalized stories and letting Black people shine behind the camera. This is in response to Peele’s Oscar-winning Get Out. It also recontextualizes Black experience in horror.
Parris states, “I love that these stories not only have deeper messaging that just gore or blood, but also have real, tangible, and relatable messages for the Black community.” “So to be part of that and continue to expand what horror means — this is more like elevated terror — and expanding the genre so that stories and faces look like ours is really exciting. Domingo says, “It’s not so foreign that Black people ought to be in the middle of the horror genre because this is our experience in America for most of the time.” “We are trying to understand who we are as a culture, and this genre fits perfectly to address our years of racial reckoning here in America. DaCosta states that there are many more Black filmmakers and many different genres today. She adds that it’s especially “cool” to see the rise in Black horror stories. She says, “I’m really excited about where it can go and the stories we can tell about the Black experience that don’t necessarily have to deal with historical racial terror.” Candyman was originally scheduled to release in April 2020. However, Candyman’s release was delayed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which shut down theaters for most part of the year. Abdul-Mateen said, “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.” “I know that the fans are very excited about it and I think it is time we let them see it.”
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