The Horror Fan website "Terror Trap" refers to Candyman as probably the last great, traditional horror film. It wasn't long after Candyman that Scream came out, revitalizing the genre, but also diluting it of the actual "horror".
Candyman plays upon the Bloody Mary urban legend. If you look in a mirror and say "Candyman" several times, the real Candyman will appear behind you and gut you. Of course idiots are bound to do it. Then again the characters don't realize they are in a horror film. Virginia Madsen plays a woman doing a thesis on urban legends and becomes fascinated in the Candyman legend. Her research leads her to Cabrini-Green, one of the roughest neighborhoods in Chicago. There, a Candyman murder was supposed to have occurred. Unfortunately for her, her poking around draws the attention of the other-worldly Candyman and he teaches her a lesson about inspiring fear in others.
A Clive Barker creation, Candyman is grim, very grim. It leaves you at times wondering "How will she ever get out of this?" Well, who says she will? The Candyman (played by Tony Todd who portrayed Worf's brother on Star Trek:TNG) weilds a hook jammed into the stump of his bloody wrist and embodies all the nastiness hinted at by the better urban legends. Someone you can't get away from and isn't restrained by the laws of the physical world. Run away from him, keep running, and an hour later when you stop to catch your breath, there is Candyman just standing there. Lock your door and turn around, and there he is. Heck, even Jason Vorhees has to take the time to bash in the door.
The Candyman DVD only offers trailers, but does have both full screen and widescreen on one disk, but that's about it. It would have been nice to hear Todd and Madsen talk about the experience of making the film. Hopefully we will see a special edition in the next year or so. Still, this is a great scare and worth the money.