Happy Almost All Hallow’s Eve Misfits!
We’re almost there!
Even though it lands on a Tuesday, it doesn’t mean we can’t be spooky! Of course, I’ve already got my outfit picked out for it and everything. I usually celebrate Halloween for the entire month and this year was no exception. While I try to devour as much horror related content as I can year round, with the influx of sketches, indie games and horror films gracing our screens, I find myself in heaven.
I’ve been watching horror films since I was 8, starting with “Child’s Play”. While my mom was asleep, I decided to watch some T.V. with the volume low and subtitles on. I was aimless flicking through channels when I stumbled upon it. Assuming it was a kid’s movie, I watched the entire thing. I had nightmares for weeks AND I got in trouble for watching the movie. It didn’t stop me from watching them though. By the time I was 15, I had seen all the classics: Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby. The list goes on and eventually the love grew to shows and games. Today I’m going to share one of my favorite horror films: Candyman.
This slasher movie is based off a short story named “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker who also produced this movie in the franchise. Based in Chicago, it follows Helen Lyle, a graduate student who studies urban legends. She stumbles upon his story, which says that if you say his name five times while looking a mirror, he will come and kill you. Throughout the movie, his presence is bolstered by the people who live in those projects, due to a string of murders that have occurred with a similar modus operandi (m.o.). Helen uncovers his history and confronts him multiple times. If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil it too much for you. Needless to say, it’s a chilling and slightly gory film that spoke to me.
One of the topics that was prevalent throughout the movie dealt with social issues, specifically racial issues. Helen Lyle, the protagonist, is a member of the white middle class, working towards her doctorate and living in downtown Chicago with her husband, who is a professor at the same university. Helen is completely unaware of Candyman until it’s brought to her attention by two women who work at the university, both of whom are African American. She decides to do more research, which leads her to the Cabrini Green projects. While doing some research, she’s attacked by a gang leader, who had taken Candyman nickname as his own. Despite the homicides that had been happening in that area, the police only came out when Helen was attacked and they quickly figured out what happened. There are many other moments I could point out in this movie, but I would be giving away the entire story if I did that. I touch on this moment because when I first watched this movie, it was the first movie I had seen that touched on these issues in horror. To me, it was crazy and bold but it also showed the versatility of horror. You can touch on so many topics while also scaring the crap out of people and I would love to see more films that did that. Maybe I should just write one.
Candyman is a true slasher flick, with a good bit of gore to go along with the story. T In a turn away from how gore is usually done, while it is a good amount, it isn’t over done. What I’ve seen with a lot of horror films that have gore in them is that they rely on the gore to keep everyone watching. While tons of gore might be the way for some people, I prefer a little less. One of my favorite scenes with gore occurs in the Cabrini Green projects. Candyman gets ahold of Helen, and let’s just say – it isn’t pretty. It’s presumed that he controls Helen during this scene in order to make her believe in his existence. Despite this, she doesn’t quite believe and he continues trying to make her believe. The gore, while it is prevalent, isn’t overdone, with some of the murders happening off screen and the aftermath being shown. Instead of relying on long death scenes, which when used in the right places can make a great performance, they continue to move forward with the story which meant I could see more fantastic death scenes. There was no need for blood to be everywhere, but where it would be if these deaths actually happened.
If you haven’t seen Candyman, I highly recommend that you do. It will keep the wheels in your mind turning as you try to figure out who will die next. With an interesting storyline, gore and a chilling lead played by Tony Todd, I’ve got a feeling you won’t be saying his name five times.
And remember misfits: stay spooky!