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DVD Reviews: Candyman

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Alex Cuming
Review Date: 02 July 2003
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Say his name in the reflection of the mirror and he will appear with a hook inserted into his bloody stump and cut you open.  Well thatís what happens in the film anyway based on an urban legend made up to be told at campfires, frightening the heck out of anyone who comes within hearing distance.  Is it just a figment of Helenís Lyles (Virginia Madson) fragmented mind? You be the judge and it is not until the end when the viewer finds out. 

Helen and her friend Bernadette Walsh (Kasi Lemmons) are students at an American University studying Urban mythology for their masters degree.  They are writing a thesis on an Urban Legend called the Candy man who seems more than just a myth after the deaths of a few people in downtown Manhattan.  The two students go to investigate the brutal murder of a woman by the hands of the alleged serial killer.  Was it done by Helen in a spell of madness or is the Candyman real and exists in another realm unperceivable to ordinary citizens of the city.  Including the doctors admitting Helen to a Psych hospital for her prominent mental illness. 

The questions that this film implies is interesting. Is it possible to become so unaware of actions that a subject will have doubt instilled about their own actions and their own part of the story?  Does Helen do these things or is the myth of the Candyman a reality?  Her research and visions point towards the latter.  But this is the viewpoint that the camera sees through the eyes of Helen and not what everyone else is seeing.  This alternate reality is not evident as being real throughout the film but the rhetorical question and crux of the story remains to be discovered until the end. 

The story is interesting and captivating enough to be worthwhile.  Keep in mind that even though it sounds like a deep psychological thriller, there is not a lot of thinking needed to enjoy it. Sure there is an element of questioning that goes with it as a side dish.  But this finger food of thought goes with the enjoyment and not vital for comprehension of the story. 

To fans of horror this feature is not as scary as the sixth sense and has not got a lot in it to scare the pants off viewers.  The exemplary use of blood and the voice of the Candyman will make the viewer think twice about looking at mirrors and repeated his dreaded name. The Candymanís voice is suitably menacing and transcends his need to actively speak and his thought is input into Helenís mind in a deep tone tempting Helen to test her own boundaries.  An example ďSoon everyone you know will abandon you, and you will be left with only meĒ beckons Helen to go into derelict apartments and uncover her own cataclysm of psychological despair. 

Overall Candyman is an excellent story of horror and thrilling and thought provocative media.  Recommended to all horror fans.  The extras are informative but not a great deal is said about the actors and directors historyís.  There are bigraphies of the director, and two of the main actors, including Virginia and Tony Todd (the actor who plays as the Candyman)The picture is sharp and the orchestral soundtrack is intense and compelling, perfect for the subject matter.

Candyman Features

  • Teaser trailer - Trick or Treat
  • 2 Theatrical trailer - The Step Father + Candyman
  • 3 Cast/crew biographies


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