A sequel to the eponymous 1992 cult classic, American filmmaker Nia DaCosta’s new supernatural slasher Candyman is a fascinating exploration of the mythology of the franchise. It tells the story of Anthony, a visual artist who moves into a gentrified Chicago neighbourhood with his girlfriend only to find himself in the middle of a terrifying situation.
“Huge fan of the original film, but what I wanted to keep was the romantic nature of Candyman,” the filmmaker acknowledged. “I think there’s something really interesting about that, that they did the first film. I loved the way he was this darkly romantic, Gothic sort of antihero character. I wanted to keep those layers to him. But then also it was just important, again, to expand on who he was, what that meant.“
Adding, “I think Candyman is a monster, for sure. I think, in some ways, he can also be an antihero. I think he’s multifaceted. For me, he represents how we change people from people into idols, or martyrs, or icons, or representations of a thing, as opposed to living, breathing human beings. He’s a monster. It’s a horror movie. He’s a villain of a sort, but we want it to deconstruct who decided he was a monster, who gave him that name, and how did he get there in the first place.”
Over the course of its opening weekend, Candyman has earned more than $20.7 million at the Box Office, which experts claim to be unusually high for a summer horror flick. According to recent surveys, the age demographic of the audience skewed towards a young majority as 71% of the data sample were in the age group of 18-34.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who starred as Anthony, commented on the connection of Candyman to recent political turmoil in the country: “Just being aware that there was a big moment in the world where we saw someone murdered on video. Then for them to be turned into a monster against their will after the fact by the press, the public.”
Adding: “There was no shortage of examples throughout history where young black men were killed at the hands of white violence, then turned into monsters. They unwillingly became the names that we know today. That was the connection I made. In this story, I wanted to make sure what we did was to humanise [the victims], to allow them to have more dignity in their death than they were given in the final moments of their lives.”
Watch the trailer for the new edition of Candyman below.