Mr. William Nightshade Reviews "Candyman" (1992)

Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,

Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Candyman” involves an investigation into a local legend.  Murder, madness, bees and bonfires hamper our heroine’s fact finding.

I have never been much of one to shirk so since my fellow contributors have reviewed Barker’s work I figured it was about time I did the same so that I could join in on their little game.

Barker’s stories often deal with dark obsession and to that end this is no exception as our lead gets in way over her head by reciting a word better left unsaid.  From that moment on reality becomes hazy so we are often left to wonder if our heroine is crazy and the fact that our killer is rarely seen only further enhances the plot’s smoke screen.  Throughout the pacing is slow, but strong, although I have to say the final scene is a shade too long since those of us accustomed to horror fare are already well acquainted with the final scare.  Now while, for the most part, final scares are something I am sick of, thematically this one fits like a glove which is rare in the horror pantheon since most of them end up feeling tacked on.

The soundtrack has the power to transfix and it is a staple of any Halloween mix so even those who have not viewed this before have more than likely heard the score.  The music creates atmospheric electricity with tunes that are elegant in simplicity which is perfectly consistent with our sophisticated killer and helps to heighten this psychological chiller.  I think it is about time that I come clean; I like this score better than the more famous “Halloween” as to me it surpasses that famous horror thriller by fully capturing the psyche of our hook handed killer.

For the most part the set pieces are well pulled off, but one may cause viewers to scoff as we can clearly see the harness in frame which, given the scene, is really a shame.  Apart from that I like that they relied upon practical effects which is especially apparent in any scene with insects and one shot in particular will cause many viewers unease as it involves a horrible swarm of bees.  To write any more would give it away, but there is a lot more I want to convey so to avoid spoilers I will only say that the scene in question has stuck with me to this day.

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 1
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 2
Rewatchability: 2
TOTAL: 8/10 

In brief, this is a fantastic psychological horror chiller with a memorable, elusive, and charismatic killer.

Stick to the shadows my fine friends.

Sincerely,
Mr. William Nightshade