candy man (2021), the latest contribution to the candy man franchise, has made viewers afraid of their mirrors again, but this time the boogeyman of urban legend has expanded his hunting ground and his motivation. By incorporating themes of police brutality and systemic racism into its gory tableau, sophisticated storytelling doesn’t take a backseat to Candyman’s killing spree, but there are inconsistencies amidst the socio-political commentary and the body count.
There are more moving parts to this movie than its predecessor, partially because the original candy man was a tight-knit game of cat-and-mouse primarily between the vengeful spirit of Daniel Robitaille and curious grad student Helen Lyle. The world-building inherent to this spiritual sequel means more of everything fans love, while also creating the possibility for more plot holes. While the movie manages to tie up most loose ends, it’s also left fans buzzing with questions!
10 Will Candyman Be A Good Guy?
At the conclusion of the movie, the original Candyman/Daniel Robitaille speaks to Brianna about the resonance of the Candyman legend, as though attempting to convey the importance of its message as an act of defiance to the people of Cabrini-Green. He seems to imply with, “tell everyone”—one of candy man‘s best quotes—that it can be used as a rallying cry of sorts to all who are oppressed by the effects of systemic racism and police brutality.
Does this mean that Candyman can be a good guy? He’s able to morph between the visage of Daniel Robitaille and Anthony, Brianna’s boyfriend who so memorably protected her from police interference, which makes a strong case for his humanity to remain intact going forward.
9 Can He Be Utilized As A Weapon?
While sitting in the back of a police squad car, Brianna invokes Candyman by saying his name four times, allowing the officer in the driver’s seat to speak the fifth—and fatal—recitation. Anthony appears as the latest incarnation of Candyman and proceeds to gruesomely kill every last officer to arrive at the scene.
This makes it seem like Candyman could be, with a bit of innovative thinking, used as a weapon of sorts. It’s not clear whether or not he would act as a vengeance demon for the person who summoned him if they didn’t have a shared history.
8 Why Did Brianna’s Loophole Work?
By having Brianna find a loophole in the invocation of Candyman, she jeopardizes the entire concept of having to speak his name five times to summon him. If she can say his name four times, and whoever says his name the fifth time is the focus of his wrath—in this case, the cop in the squad car with her—then the logic inherent to his legend becomes flawed.
Was this loophole always possible? Or is it even a loophole at all? Are viewers supposed to count the one time she said Candyman’s name prior to Anthony rushing in and breaking all the mirrors in their apartment? Perhaps it will be something built into the legend in ongoing contributions to the franchise.
7 Why Was His Name Said So Many Times?
In the original movie, Helen is the only person to say Candyman’s name five times in the mirror, yet the people around her—including the psychiatrist and Bernadette—die. This is because Candyman wanted to make Helen feel like she had no other choice but to submit to him, or he would keep killing anyone she grew close to.
In the latest movie, Candyman kills anyone who says his name five times in the mirror, as well as anyone around them that he thinks should die—the gallerist’s girlfriend, and then the gallerist, for example. While it’s true the art critic is killed after Anthony leaves her apartment, viewers are left to wonder if she even recited his name five times into the mirror when she got up to use the bathroom.
6 Will There Ever Be Another Candywoman?
The original Candyman, Daniel Robitaille, was a Black man tortured and killed for falling in love with a white client’s daughter, creating a rage that immortalized his soul as a vengeful spirit. Anthony learns that there are many men like Robitaille who have, over the centuries, been killed for being men of color. Among their cadaverous cadre, there’s only one Candywoman, and that’s Helen Lyle.
While the other Candymen were created from the pronounced pain experienced by men, Helen Lyle’s becoming a Candywoman was a misconception of the real urban legend growing from residents of Cabrini-Green believing a white woman capable of inflicting horrible crimes on people of color. Will there ever be a Candywoman again?
5 Why Didn’t Anthony Do Something About That Wound?
In the first half of the movie, Anthony is stung by a bee—the totem of Candyman—while exploring Cabrini-Green. The beesting gets progressively worse to the point where it mutates his entire arm. Even when he can peel the skin off the back of his knuckles like an orange, it takes him weeks to go see a doctor about it.
Why didn’t he ever think to himself that there was something very wrong about a beesting that develops into gangrene? It’s possible he’s so enthralled with the Candyman curse that he doesn’t see it for what it is, but that’s hard to believe when he’s literally scratching at it and picking at it constantly.
4 Why Did William Help Candyman After He Murdered His Sister?
As a young boy, William witnessed Sherman Fields be beaten to death by policemen after offering him a sweet, an act of violence that turned Sherman into Candyman. Later, Sherman would go on to brutally murder his older sister in the bathroom of their apartment in Cabrini-Green, presumably wiping out any sympathy William had for the man.
Yet, somehow, he becomes a disciple of Candyman as an adult, spreading the word of his legend, kidnapping Brianna, and offering Anthony as a sacrifice. Why did he help Sherman after he’d murdered his sister? Was it simply out of fear for his own life, or because he became obsessed to the point of possession like Anthony?
3 What About Brianna’s Father?
Brianna’s backstory, which lends weight to her decision to enter relationships with “troubled artists,” involves her witnessing her father’s suicide at a young age. In the throws of a creative maelstrom, he leaps from the second story of their house, leaving a room filled with erratic, chaotic paintings, possibly with Candyman as their subject.
It seems that there may have been more to the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic end, which could have tied more into the Candyman legend—including an obsession with fellow painter Daniel Robitaille?—but any such scenes seem to have been left on the cutting room floor.
2 Why Wasn’t Tony Todd In It More?
When the trailers for the movie first debuted, fans of the franchise were overjoyed to hear the sonorous baritone of Tony Todd, the original Candyman, over the quick flashes of sanguinary chaos. He could even be seen in the shadow of a car window, tantalizing viewers with the idea of his return to the character his performance made one of the most iconic in horror movie history.
Unfortunately for fans, Todd had mere seconds of screen time at the very end of the movie, which amounted to nothing more than a glorified cameo. While age was certainly a factor for the actor, surely a man of his caliber should have been given more ways to be present in the franchise he made famous? Fans can only hope he’s featured in a sequel.
1 Will There Be a Sequel?
The end of the movie highlights the presence of many “Candymen,” suggesting a hive—in keeping with the bee motif that runs throughout the franchise—of vengeful vessels. This leads the plot open for sequels in which any one of the men could appear as a focus.
There were two notable sequels to the original candyman, both featuring Tony Todd in the iconic title role, but candy man (2021) acts as a sequel that doesn’t discount the history the others provided while continuing with their world-building. It seems with the presence of dozens of “Candymen” throughout the centuries, any one of them could make a compelling story.
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