It doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re in. if you keep your ear to the ground it’s likely that you’ll stumble across a local urban legend or two. These enigmas, mysteries or cautionary tales can often have some grounding in the truth but are also quite often used as a way of child-control. The Boogieman, for instance, has existed in many shapes and forms throughout history. In Bernard Rose’s 1992 film he took the shape of the titular Candyman.
Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is a graduate student researching urban myths and legends. When she encounters the story of the Candyman (Tony Todd), who legend decrees can be summoned by reciting his name five times in-front of a mirror, Helen’s initially sceptical. However, when it’s claimed that a woman on the notorious Cabrini-Green housing project was killed by the mysterious boogieman, she’s determined to uncover the truth.
Candyman is an old-school slasher which uses a myth as its base to create a terrifying and gory modern fable. It’s surprisingly political about the social issues of the time and makes beautiful use of street art in its design. Rose cleverly allows viewers to use their imaginations instead of wallowing in the gore, creating a nightmarish figure of terror. What Candyman does so well is place an idea in your head. Are you brave enough to say his name five times?
Limited edition contents:
Candyman is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 29 October.