You have to respect Nia DaCosta’s CANDYMAN for going hard, not going home. In this belated sequel to the 1992 film, struggling artist (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his curator girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) living in the gentrified area of Chicago previously home to the deprived Cabrini-Green housing project inadvertently re-awaken the ghostly embodiment of Black pain and rage, Candyman. There’s at least half a dozen really good central concepts here when two or three would have done, so the film ends up a little crowded and unable to do entirely so justice to all of its themes, but at least leads Abdul-Mateen and Parris make for compelling and modern horror protagonists. Visually and sonically, it’s pretty stunning, with an eerie score from Robert A A Lowe, memorable shadow puppetry animation sequences to fill in the mythology of the legend as it grew over the decades and clever thematic use of mirror and world-upside-down imagery. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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