For today’s movie in Halloween Horror, we will look at a much more dark and violent film than “The Witches of Eastwick.” Clive Barker is a well known writer who specializes in dark horror stories. His work is often adapted into films. One of these films is “Candyman,” which was released in 1992.
The main character in the movie is Helen Lyle (played by Virginia Madsen), a graduate student working with her friend Bernadette (played by Kasi Lemmons) on a thesis on local urban legends. Helen hears about Candyman (played by Tony Todd), a killer who appears behind someone when they say his name five times into a mirror. Candyman has the people in a local housing project terrified. Convinced he is just a folk anti-hero, Helen disregards many warnings and goes to investigate. Eventually, she learns he is real.
It is interesting to note that "Candyman" is about folklorists who specialize the study of urban legends. This is a genuine field of research and since the movies release many legend scholars have given critiques of the film. It is prominently discussed in Patricia A. Turner and Gary Alan Fine's book "Whispers on the Color Line: Rumors and Race in America" and Michael J. Koven's "Film, Folklore, and Urban Legends."
These scholars appreciate the fact “Candyman” is a very good horror film. It has a great score and a lot of suspense. Candyman is a great character. He has a deep voice, and he looks intimidating because he has a hook where his hand was and because of his height.
The first scene with Candyman is one of the best in the film. He does not appear until about halfway through the film, which creates intense suspense. This is similar to “Alien,” where the alien does not appear in the first half on the film. The scene is set in a parking garage, which is a common setting for scenes in horror film. But it is still a very effective scene.
Virginia Madsen is excellent in the lead role. Her character is often tough and fearless, but is very scared when she is dealing with Candyman.
Candyman would be a great choice for a Halloween costume. The website horror.about.com details how to make one.