DaCosta uses a range of thoughtfully considered media to shape their already-sharp script; the film’s violence is equally startling whether it’s depicted graphically and up-close, or through old-fashioned shadow puppets and oral traditions.
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Though it delivers some entertaining comedy and bloodshed, Candyman is clunky and overly instructive in its metaphorical purpose — killing subtext as often as it does anyone foolish enough to summon the eponymous spirit.
While DaCosta ably toys with the usual genre trappings — jump scares, things that go bump in the night, eye-popping gore — the filmmaker, directing only her second feature, effectively adds unexpectedly artful touches.
While introducing a few arcs it doesn’t fully explore, Candyman is replete with haunting imagery, disconcerting horror, and thought-provoking themes.
DaCosta can make a stroll down a well-lit, modern and clean hallway somehow creepy. This is confident, smart filmmaking. There’s a stunning scene in which the Candyman mirrors his prey’s movements and one in an elevator where blood droplets create their own horror-inside-horror.
Sharp social commentary and slick genre trappings make for thought-provoking entertainment, even if it never entirely hooks you.
Candyman caters to fans of the original without sacrificing its own vision and story.
This film is a very tasty confection of satire and scorn.
This is horror with grandeur, a movie that pays homage to history and feels so of-the-moment as to seem fresh out of the lab...Candyman, the glossiest horror movie in ages, isn’t just horror. It’s horror that reaches for the Latin in that MGM (which produced the original film and gets co-credit here) logo we see in the opening credits — “Ars gratia artis,” “art for art’s sake.”
Nia DaCosta’s slow-burn sequel makes Candyman feel vital, both building on and course-correcting the movies in the series that came before it.