Monstrous Horror Marathon: Tony Todd Haunts in 'Candyman'
by Alex Billington
October 15, 2010
"What's blood for, if not for shedding?" Another horror classic I have never seen, until I saw it recently, is Candyman, the 1992 horror movie starring Tony Todd as a hook-wielding villain and a young Virginia Madsen. Yes, shame on me, but that's why I'm running this monstrous horror series, so that I can catch up on all these great horror films I haven't seen. The funny thing is that I already knew the mirror gimmick that this was based around (although I'm not sure if that's just an urban legend that they recycled for this), but I didn't know much about the film. That said, I enjoyed it, but didn't love it, as it lost my interest by the end.
Candyman starts out pretty damn damn good, but I didn't like where it went. I loved all the amusing early 90's "oh it's just a derelict apartment" kind of stuff early on. And best of all, it started out with Ted Raimi! You can never go wrong with Ted Raimi. Even though he was only in it for about two minutes, it definitely set a great precedent. Unfortunately it was all downhill from there. At first I liked Candyman as a villain, but once he started taking over Helen, Virginia Madsen's character, I started to lose interest. Sure, I understand this is one of those tormented soul kind of horror flicks, where no one believes the person and they end up framed for killings, but I was hoping Candyman would go on a bigger killing spree or torment more people.
He is actually a pretty fun villain. I like how they modified his voice to be dark and epic and there were some great shots with him. The one I remember the most, my favorite "exit" from the movie, was when he kills the psychiatrist in the hospital and all of a sudden flies out of the window backwards. There's some great stuff in this, but not enough of it. Eventually it started to evolve into a psychological thriller where we didn't know if this was all just Helen's imagination and/or whether she would ever make it out to see her husband. That's not what I cared about at all, I wanted more vicious hook killings all over town, courtesy of the Candyman.
One part of this that did impress me was the score. It was crazy epic and awesome to listen to and I didn't even realize until after that it was from Philip Glass. I wish he would still score more horror, because his work in this was incredible. Overall, I felt like Candyman had way too many cheesy moments due to a fairly weak script full of some awful dialogue and terribly predictable moments. It was still entertaining and I'm definitely happy I saw it, mostly because Tony Todd is such a badass villain and I won't ever forget him, but it's not going to be one of my favorite horror films from this month. However, I don't think I'm going to ever try that mirror trick for real (all five times), I'm still too scared of what might happen! Sweets for the sweet.