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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 7: Candyman


Oct 7: Candyman

"The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth."
Directed by: Bernard Rose, Rated: R, 99 minutes

Here's another entry into the "Horror Movies I Haven't Seen" list. While this is stretching it a bit, as I do remember watching Candyman when I was really young, I remember nothing else about it. All I can recall is that it was on TV one day like 10 years ago. So, I'm throwing this in the batch with Hellraiser and Little Shop of Horrors. And I must admit, of these three films, I like Candyman the least. It's a very slow movie that takes a long, long time to get going, and once it does, it kind of just jumps all over the place. It's moments of terror are genuinely freaky, with plenty of blood and graphic murder scenes that will stick with you. But, the rest of the film is just very blah movie that's more f**ked up and random than anything else. 

That's a comfy looking coat though. 

Candyman follows graduate student, Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), who hears about an urban legend about the Candyman, an apparition that appears with a hook stuffed in a stump of a hand who kills anyone that says his name five times. Seemingly obsessed with the story, Helen seeks out information behind it, tracking down past "victims" as well as traveling to the hood (because the urban area is apparently the home of the killer?). Then, in some way or another, she ends up striking a deal or receiving a curse (I couldn't tell which one) from the Candyman (Tony Todd), and murders happen all around her, each being staged to look as those she was the one that committed them. A bunch of shit happens, a lot of blood is spilled, and you're left not really knowing what happened. 

Xander Berkeley also has a part in the film and this guy I'd really watch in anything. RIP George Mason.

I don't know if the film itself is very confusing or if I just checked out of it earlier than I should have, but there's a lot about the movie that just doesn't make sense. It really feels as though parts of the film were removed, as it jumps ahead in time and all over the place quite frequently. I really wanted to like Candyman, but I ended up feeling very underwhelmed by it. If I had to point out particular things I did like about it, I would say that Philip Glass' score is very creepy and the cinematography looks great. As a technical film, I can appreciate it. But through its plot and even it's weak acting, I have to condemn it as something close to terrible. 

And there are a lot of bees. Because, why not?

I'd recommend staying away from this Clive Barker adaptation. Yes, I know that this movie has quite the cult-following and I am sure to offend plenty of them, but I just could not fall in love with this horror movie. It's messy storytelling that's only heightened by its technical aspects, but still fails to deliver something worth remembering. Freddy, Jason, and Michael would all be ashamed to have the Candyman in the bloody echelons they share, and I for one could do completely without it. 

The Good:
a haunting score by the always creepy Philip Glass and a couple of graphic scenes that are pretty freaky
The Bad:
a messy story that never knows where to go
The Ugly:
that same story seemingly wanting to be full of symbolism and deep meaning, but just feels lost and confused (like the audience)

Overall: 4.3/10


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At October 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM , Blogger Mavi@filmscope said...

It has been probably 15 or more years since I have seen this but as a young teenager I found it pretty scary...

At October 7, 2012 at 11:16 PM , Blogger Nick said...

re-watch it lol... you'll be disappointed lol

At October 8, 2012 at 4:02 AM , Blogger alienxphile said...

I actually really like this movie and the score is outstanding. I watch it a couple of times a year. Call it a guilty pleasure. :D 6.5/10

At October 8, 2012 at 8:42 AM , Blogger Jess said...

We watched this for our most recent FTS movie night! Lindsay had been wanting to watch it forever and we all pretty much liked it. Definitely not like an incredible movie but we though it was good fun. I watched it as a kid and was scared to death but I actually didn't remember as much as I thought I would. I understand it wasn't that great for you though. Maybe you just need to be part of our running commentary during the movie to get the full experience? ;)

At October 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Haha possibly. Should star up my own movie night! lol

At October 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Wish I could have liked it more..

At October 8, 2012 at 5:40 PM , Blogger Lindsay said...

THIS IS BLASPHEMY! Candyman is my shit. I don't actually have anything insightful to say but I do think it's solid.

At October 8, 2012 at 5:44 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Lol. I'm sorry! I just couldn't get into it...


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