Candyman (1992) / Horror-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for violence and gore
Running Time: 99 min.
Cast: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams
Director: Bernard Rose
Screenplay: Bernard Rose
Review published January 6, 1998
In her university studies, Helen researches the legend of Candyman, the educated son of a slave who in the late 19th century impregnated a white woman and suffered excruciating torture at the hands of a lynch mob who saw off his right arm replacing it with a hook and smear honey over his body from a beehive. Legend has it that by saying his name five times before a mirror, you can summon him. Helen disbelieves all of this, but not for long as Candyman appears and makes her life a living hell by ruthlessly murdering several people and making it look as though it was Helen. And now what's worse is that Candyman has taken a liking to the poor woman.
Superior horror that never misses a beat...until a pathetic last twenty minutes, where a dissatisfying wrap up to the whole film nearly undoes all of the ingenuity it had built up. A breath of fresh air until then, with brilliant direction by Rose, who also wrote the script. Madsen, Todd and all the rest of the actors do a superb job as well. It's a shame that they couldn't come up with a better resolution for it all.
©1998 Vince Leo