Candyman: Half smart, half failed [critique]

A reboot / sequel which loses in horrific efficiency but amplifies the social angle of Bernard Rose’s Candyman.

You know the song: say his name five times in front of a mirror, and Candyman will come back from hell to stick his hook in your belly. Twenty-nine years after Bernard Rose’s film, Nia DaCosta (Little woods and soon The Marvels at … Marvel) extends the history of boogeyman in a sequel bordering on reboot. Return to Cabrini Green, an ancient insanitary city of Chicago where the legend of the killer is still in everyone’s mind. The towers have disappeared and the district hosts opulent real estate projects, populated with fried sores. Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a young artist in search of inspiration, has just moved into a luxurious apartment. While a former inhabitant of the city tells him the true story of Candyman, Anthony becomes obsessed with this macabre story, to the point of madness …

Jordan Peele (still him) produces this scary film which dialogues with the original and cuts a suit for gentrification, seen here as the origin of all evils (racism, violence, poverty…). The angle is rather clever, especially since DaCosta takes this idea to the end, pillaging everyone, from whites to well-off blacks who have forgotten their heritage. But the social commentary is rehashed, as if to get over the customs of not being able to stage it. Results : Candyman forgets the tension and loosely connects the stylized (gentrified?) murder scenes, ineffective in his quest for the ultimate thrill. Of the black horror programmatic, not so badly packaged but drained by its lack of subtlety.

By Nia DaCosta. With Yahya Abdul- Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart- Jarrett …. Duration: 1h31. Release September 29, 2021

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