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Based on a story by Clive Barker and skillfully written and directed by Bernard Rose, Candyman rises above most horror films by eerily suggesting that some urban legends--in this case a particularly frightening one--have a spooky basis in reality. The legend of the Candyman is a potent one around the high-rise tenements of Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing complex, where the residents speak of a dark, ominous figure who appears when his victims say his name five times in front of a mirror, then mercilessly slashes them to death. Upon learning that the Candyman is rumored to live in one of the vacant tenements, a University of Illinois researcher (Virginia Madsen) investigates a recent murder at Cabrini-Green. She learns that the Candyman (played by Tony Todd) is both unreal and chillingly real--a supernatural force of evil empowered by those who believe in his legend. He is a killer made flesh by the belief of others, and the young researcher's investigation is a threat to his existence. What happens next? We wouldn't dare spoil the chills, but rest assured that writer-director Rose has tapped into a wellspring of urban angst and fear, and Candyman serves up its gruesome frights with a refreshing dose of intelligence. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
Cast: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley.
Running Time: 98 minutes.
Rated R for violence, gore, language, and mild nudity.
"Candyman" begins with a haunting tone of a piano exercising the musical score. As the camera pans overhead of the great city of Chicago, there already a sense of terror that hangs over the metropolitan. This terror, created brilliantly by the unknown director Bernard Rose, is the urban legend of the ghostly hooked slave Candyman. The legend has it that whenever a person speaks his name five times into a mirror, the Candyman will appear based on this invitation and kill those who spoke his name.
Virginia Madsen plays an up-and-coming graduate journalist who is out to find the juiciest, most cunning story that she can find. She chooses to study urban legends in an urban area--the slums of Chicago. As she learns more about mysterious killer, Virginia's character is thrust into a world of horror as she is arrested for the very crimes that the Candyman has committed. Attempting to both get out of jail and save those who are close to her, she is on a relentless path that she not only hopes will lead to her survival, but the truth of the Candyman.
Excellent script is one of the better adaptations of a Clive Barker story. Madsen gives a fine performance in the leading role and Tony Todd is hauntingly fresh as the tormenting hooked murderer. Will keep the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the entire film, only to have their entire bodies lifted out in shock with a superb climax. One of the better horror films of the early 1990s and a hidden gem in the slasher genre. Truly scary.
1.The setting and atmosphere-It takes place in Cabrini Green, Chicago in the projects.
2.The music-I always say the music makes all the difference in a movie
3.Candyman's voice-He has this very low voice that is just haunting
4.Candyman's hook-It's all bloody and there's something about it that just creeps me out.
The reason I gave this movie 5 stars is because it is the only movie i've ever seen to scare me in the way it did.I would reccomend it only to people who have seen a lot of horror movies.I wouldn't reccomend it to people who are easily scared because i am not but i still was terrified by "Candyman".
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.
Based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker (you can find it in the Books of Blood vol. 5) , it delves into urban legends and the supernatural rather than gratuitous bloodshed, though there is plenty of that here. A Chicago University researcher (Virginia Madsen), working on her thesis, decides to examine the legend of "Candyman", a murderous spirit said to haunt a local slum. His ghost is motivated by spite and anger, having died under violent and unjust circumstances when alive. He has a hook for a hand, and will shed innocent blood if he is called upon. The legend has it that if you look into a mirror and say his name 5 times, he will come for you. This variation of the Bloody Mary story was thought only to be an urban legend, until the researcher decides to immerse herself in the legend, only to find out that the danger is very real. The Candyman comes for her, and needless to say, blood is shed.
As a villain, Candyman is more formidable than most. He is dark, sinister, and appears out of nowhere. Owing to the circumstances of his death, his hook for a hand and his penchant for honey bees (I would be giving too much away if I were to explain it) make him fearsome. Where the movie succeeds in scaring the audience is in the atmosphere. From the semi-gothic music score to the Candyman's deep and raspy voice, the viewer is on their toes from the very beginning. The horror is mainly psychological, but there are a few jump scenes that will get the heart rate up.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Candyman starts out pedestrian enough. Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is a graduate student attempting to wow her instructor while dealing with her cheating professor husband. Read morePublished on June 6 2004 by D. Smithee
Let me give it to you in a nutshell.
Fright factor- 8/10 ( but lessens after the second viewing )
Special Effects- 5/10
Candy Man was a much... Read more
Do you dare say the name five times?
Helen Lyle did. Helen, (Virginia Madsen) is doing a thesis on Urban Legends with her friend Bernadette. Read more
I generally credit myself with being able to sit through just about any movie. But this was boring! I dig bloody horror movies, but they still need to be interesting. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by R. Golden
Virginia Madsen is perfect as the driven researcher, trying to find out the history of a modern, urban boogeyman called CANDYMAN. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2003 by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
Forget the sequels, the Scream movies, and the 'I Know Who You Killed After Sleeping With Them Last Independance Day'-type movies. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2003 by Review Lover
You have to like a movie that rips off from the artiest movie of them all, Koyannasqatsi (my video guidebook says Phillip Glass did the music and you can tell if you know... Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2003