Candyman ★★★

“White people built the ghetto and then erased it when they realized they built the ghetto.”

Nia DaCosta’s reclamation of the Candyman mythos by Black voices is undeniably powerful and important. It’s a shame that the film surrounding this statement is so messy and disjointed. 

It feels like they crammed two hours of story into a 90 minute runtime. Plot threads are introduced and left dangling at random as the movie sprints towards an abrupt, although thrilling, conclusion. I’m curious to see if we get an extended cut down the line where the seemingly disparate ideas are given more breathing room. 

My biggest disappointment with the film is that the charismatic, alluring presence of Candyman himself is discarded in favour of a more spectral, elusive interpretation. I perked up when he finally gets to deliver some dialogue in the film’s finale, but by then it was too little too late and most of his speech can be heard in the trailer. 

DaCosta’s visuals kept this afloat for me. Every kill scene is a stand out. I was in awe of how brilliantly these sequences were constructed. The shadow puppetry overlaying the necessary exposition was fantastic. Hell, she even thought of a cool way to display the production studio logos.

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