There are three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and the absolute truth that no SANE kid from the 90s’ will actually say Candyman in the mirror five times without pissin’ their pants a little bit.
Candyman, based on a story by Clive Barker titled “The Forbidden”, is a cautionary tale of racism, betrayal, and revenge that formed both into a modern urban legend both on and off-screen. The 1992 film will all know so well that later spawned two sequels, stars the legendary Tony Todd as the “Candyman” and Virginia Madsen as Helen Lyle as his opposite and ultimate “victim”. Helen, a bright student investigating the Candyman lore in rural Detroit for her thesis, discovers the shocking and very real horrors behind the “legend” while also becoming a bit of one herself. In one of the earlier scenes in the film in particular where Helen and her associate Bernadette are nosing around Cabrini Green, Helen takes off by herself in a crawl space and finds an “offering” to what is obviously Candyman- a pile of candy, that has razor blades in it. Yet, another urban legend in itself that was used cleverly in the film, and may have possibly served as the inspiration for Nia DaCosta’s version of Candyman herself.
In this fresh, new take on the story that keeps caused a shit-ton of sleepless nights for me personally in the 90s’, Michael Hargrove takes on the role Todd made infamous, as Sherman Fields, aka Candyman. Fields, before being brutally murdered by police, was a one-handed man who used to give sweets to the children of Cabrini-Green; which actually seems really nice! However, he is later falsely accused of putting razor blades inside the candy, resulting in a death that, especially now, holds a lot horrific truths into our own reality even today in 2021.
While it definitely isn’t a case of foreshadowing here, it certainly feels like DaCosta got some inspiration for the Candyman’s origins from the 1992 film. Kind of gives a new and twisted meaning to “sweets to the sweet”, eh?
Now, a possible SPOLIER. I have NOT seen the film yet, but I have a theory, much like others, that may ruin it for those who haven’t connected these dots yet. So stop here if you’d rather be surprised.
In the 1992 film, Madsen comes across a woman named Anne Marie in Cabrini Green, who has an infant son named Anthony- who is later taken by Candyman and used as a pawn in his game with Helen. Helen essentially saves his life, while sealing her own fate.
In the new film, one of the main characters is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy; a visual artist who becomes obsessed with the Candyman legend. In several plot descriptions of the 2021 film, it has been repeated that he has a connection with Candyman himself. Is it possible that Anthony is in fact, Anne Marie’s child that was in the 1992 film?
It’s a completely plausible theory.
Are you excited to see Candyman this weekend? Drop your own thoughts, reviews, and theories below!