Candyman (1992)
By: David Michael Brown on March 15, 2004  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
All Regions, PAL. 1:85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English 2.0. AV Channel (Australia). 95 minutes
The Movie
Director: Bernard Rose
Starring:Virginia Madson, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams
Screenplay: Bernard Rose (story by Clive Barker)
Music: Michael Reisman
Tagline: "Dare you say his name 5 times…"
Country: USA
Hot on the tortured heals of Hellraiser comes Bernard Rose's adaptation of Clive Barker's short story The Forbidden, relocating his tale of a vengeful spectre to downtown Chicago. The Candyman is a mythical, Afro American avenger seeking revenge on the local community who did him wrong. He is summoned by those foolhardy enough to gaze into a mirror and utter his name five times, soon his signature bees will be buzzing and his hooked hand will be ready to gore you.

Helen Lyle, played by Virginia Madson, is investigating urban legends in Chicago's infamous Cabrini Green Housing Project. Whilst hunting the legend she unwittingly unleashes the demon by repeating the immortal line, but escapes his evil clutches. Little does she know that the Candyman will hunt her down relentlessly, making her life a living hell. She is framed for a series of increasingly gruesome murders of those close to her. Soon her fractured mind is in as a bad shape as her crumbling marriage as the Candyman and the police pursue her. How will she solve the mystery of the Candyman before her life is ended?

Rose effectively directs the film, the taut storyline shocks in all the right places without being predictable. Madsen is excellent as the terrified Lyle, she perfectly displays the horror and confusion of a fractured mind in a career best performance. Todd is good as the titular villain, he is given some terrible lines and tends to be overly pompous but when the script calls for a murderous edge he excels.

Dare you say that name in front of a mirror? If no then the film has done its work, I doubt many will be saying "Candyman, Candyman, Candyman………….." after watching this DVD.
The picture is crisp and clear and remains pretty grain free during the dark scenes. It's particularly effective showing off the excellent production design of the Projects.
The stereo mix is adequate but the film misses a punchy surround mix.
Extra Features
For a horror film of this stature the extras are unfortunately brief in this Australian release. The theatrical trailer and a small selection of biographies are all we get apart from some Umbrella Propaganda; two extra trailers, one for The Stepfather, the other Trick or Treat.
The Verdict
The film does suffer in comparison to Barkers greatest cinematic invention but taken on its own merits Candyman is an effective and disturbing horror film that deservedly spawned its own sequels but unfortunately not a decent DVD release. Here's hoping a special edition will be released soon.
Movie Score
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