One thing that has always been a constant is the need for horror icons, especially in the slasher genre. Mainly, it all equals money for studios. Between "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" the 80s were the times of franchising everything and anything. Enter the 90s, and in the vein those classics from the 80s, we were gifted another potential boogeyman who could have become the next horror icon, but two lackluster sequels later, we only have the original film, which is still a solid film on it's own; enter "Candyman,' from 1992.
Based on the Clive Barker novella, "Candyman" is the tale of folklore and mythology in the ghetto of Chicago, whereas the original tale was told in the slums of London. Helen is a grad student working on urban myths who stumbles upon a rather gruesome tale of a man with a hook for a hand who kills at will. Digging deeper into the story of Candyman unearths a story of a man who fell in love with a woman and is murdered in cold blood with the help of bees and honey. Soon Helen finds herself haunted by Candyman who wants Helen to become his newest victim and restore his visage which he believes Helen has destroyed.
If nothing else, "Candyman" is a 90s reboot of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" a story about belief and how mythology plays an important part in our daily lives. The same way that Freddy is powerful based on his fear, is the same way that Candyman is effective in his terror.
What I still think makes "Candyman" scary, is the same way that people are still scared of Freddy Kruger; it's a childhood fear. I remember first hearing about this film when I was in 4th grade and just the thought of being alone in a bathroom and saying "Candyman" five times in a mirror scared me more than anything. Even the thought of being dared to say it by some friends scared me. Looking at it now as an adult I realize that this is all make believe, but still, there is that little thing in the back of your head that you still think it might be real.
Overall, "Candyman" is an interesting film that has a great Gothic/Shakespearean feel to it. There is tragedy and bloodshed, not to mention an interesting twist at the end that you might not see coming.
We dare you to watch these other 1992 films in a mirror five times:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula