Movie Review: Candyman (1992)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1992 thriller starring Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen.

Synopsis: A grad student researching urban legends becomes interested in finding the truth behind one involving Candyman and, while doing her research, accidentally summons the hook-wielding spirit. Rather than killing her, however, Candyman seems content ruining her life by framing her for his murders.


I came across this film on one of our movie channels a couple nights ago and, since it had been a while since my wife and I had watched it, decided to record it. We ended up watching it last night and, while it wasn't a bad movie, it also just wasn't quite what I remembered.

The urban legend portion of this, about a hook-wielding ex-slave who pops out of mirrors and disembowels you if you say his name five times, is intriguing and, in itself, has some potential to make a really scary horror movie. The problem with this movie is it never fully captures that potential.

Sure, there are stories about his gruesome murders. And, we do eventually get to witness how much bloodshed he can inflict. But, when it was all said and done, Candyman (Todd) ultimately just doesn't get enough to do in this film.

Instead of focusing on the obvious horror potential Candyman brings, the movie spends more time on the grad student (Madsen), her research and, eventually, her efforts to try to prove her innocence. While this, in itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing, it was a story that didn't require a supernatural being (any living person could have done the same thing). As a result of that, Candyman, and his potentially scary gifts, was really an add-on who wasn't even necessary.

I also thought the ending was dragged out a little too much, especially since it was kind of predictable to begin with. Let's just say the final surprise twist at the end wasn't much of a surprise and, because of that, just lacked the impact it probably should have had, much like the rest of the movie in general.

Final Opinion

The main bad guy in this movie had quite a bit of potential to be memorable. Unfortunately, the film chooses to place the focus on the wrong character and the movie just isn't as interesting as a result.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 01/29/2017, StevenHelmer
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