Say his name five times and he shall appear... Candyman marries an irresistible premise to some muddled themes, but remains an effective and unconventional slasher.
Grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is working on a thesis about urban legends and focuses on the story of the Candyman, a vengeful ghost whom she unwisely proceeds to summon. Hook-handed and vaguely eroticised (well it is based on a Clive Barker story), carnage ensues.
The film has itself become a bit of a legend thanks to Todd’s performance. Effortlessly menacing, he also brings a sense of nobility. Its handling of racial issues is confused to say the least, but the film has bags of atmosphere and looks gorgeous in this new 4K scan.
Extras Both the US and UK cuts are included in this new Special Edition release. A prime feature is a half-hour interview with Barker, looking back over his film career. “Unwrapping Candyman” smartly critiques the film’s attitude to race. There are interviews with Todd and Madsen, as well as features on production design, make-up and Barker’s original story. Three short films provide insight into director Bernard Rose’s early career. There are also two commentaries: an entertaining chat track with Rose and Todd, and a more informative one from horror experts Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. Plus: galleries and trailers. Will Salmon