There’s something about the familiar that can be so scary. I think Candyman has always been particularly scary to me because it’s set in Chicago. I recognize the highways from above, I attended classes in that college, and I stared out my window at Cabrini Green every time we drove to my grandparents’ condo downtown. Everything about the movie (except, thankfully, for the Candyman) is so familiar.
And can I just say that Philip Glass should have done the music for every horror movie ever? That opening sequence is fantastic and incredibly haunting.
Tony Todd is masterful as the Candyman himself. That man knows how to scare. In fact, everyone in the cast is believable and aptly cast. Because of the nature of the urban legend, no fancy special effects are needed here, so the movie has aged well. My only thought was that Helen wouldn’t have to worry so much about film these days, since she’d probably be using her smartphone to take most of the pictures.
The tension mounts, the antagonist is truly frightening, and it’s an interesting mystery trying to unravel what’s in Helen’s mind and what’s real. Without resorting to too many jump scares or more gore than necessary, Candyman delivers a scary story through and through.