Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Film Review: CANDYMAN (1992, Bernard Rose)

Stars: 2 of 5.
Running Time: 99 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Virginia Madsen, Philip Glass, Tony Todd, Vanessa Williams (no, not that one, the other one), Ted Raimi, Xander Berkeley, Clive Barker.
Tag-lines: "We Dare You To Say His Name Five Times!"
Best one-liner(s): "I hear you're looking for Candyman, bitch. Well, you found him! " [Not said by Candyman. Candyman is a class act.]

Guess who's coming to dinner? Candyman. This is not a good movie. It's a mediocre movie with some brilliant elements to it. It's hard to explain; the cinematography is excellent, but I didn't care about anything happening within the frame. I couldn't connect to the characters, the mythology was weak, and the plot became too convoluted for it's own good. A couple times the Philip Glass score tricked me into thinking the film had weight, but it was only the music. Speaking of the music, Glass delivers one of his greatest scores. Everyone should own a copy. It takes elements from his previous work and infuses them with massive choral elements and a frightening, dusty old church organ. In fact, I think the director wants you to recall prior Glass movies through the imagery- helicopter shots of Cabrini Green mirror the Pruit Igoe segment in KOYAANISQATSI, and police procedural stuff reminds one of THE THIN BLUE LINE.

Too bad this masterful score is wasted on this movie. But then there's Tony Todd. As the eponymous Candyman, he's the only character who's not boring. And, as the big villain, it comes as some surprise that he's likable, charming, and Shakespearian.

Candyman is someone I could see inviting to a dinner party, and not having to worry whether he was going to cause a scene or not. Look at his competition. They're either totally crass (Freddy, Critters, Chucky, etc.) or have no personality whatsoever (Jason, Michael Myers). So despite the movie being weak, I have to give points for Candyman being the classiest horror villain since Vincent Price. I could see myself hanging out with Candyman. Just not in the context of this movie, please. Two stars.

-Sean Gill

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cabrini Green was the only scary thing about the movie.