WE DARE YOU TO SAY HIS NAME FIVE TIMES.
Graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), who specializes in urban legends, starts looking into a recent murder in the Chicago projects that is linked to a horror figure, Candyman. This ambitious, well-made horror film blends low-key, romantic chills with gory killings in a highly effective way, while also turning a new Freddy Krueger figure (who is summoned with the help of a mirror) into a symbol of everything that’s wrong with depressed areas like Cabrini-Green. Philip Glass’s haunting music score builds emotions, even though the film drags a bit in the midsection. Madsen is good in the lead; Tony Todd a towering presence as Candyman.
1992-U.S. 93 min. Color. Produced by Steve Golin, Alan Poul, Sigurjon Sighvatsson. Written and directed by Bernard Rose. Short Story: Clive Barker (“The Forbidden”). Music: Philip Glass. Cast: Virginia Madsen (Helen Lyle), Tony Todd (Candyman), Xander Berkeley (Trevor Lyle), Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy.
Trivia: Eddie Murphy and Sandra Bullock were allegedly considered for the two leads. Followed by two sequels, starting with Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995).
Last word: “I had to go and have a whole set of meetings with the NAACP, because the producers were so worried, and what they said to me when they’d read the script was ‘Why are we even having this meeting? You know, this is just good fun.’ Their argument was ‘Why shouldn’t a black actor be a ghost? Why shouldn’t a black actor play Freddy Krueger or Hannibal Lector? If you’re saying that they can’t be, it’s really perverse. This is a horror movie. . .’ ” (Rose on how worried the producers were of having a black horror figure, The Independent)