Candyman. Do you dare say it?

We’re coming up on 30 years since the hook-handed killer – known affectionately as the Candyman – haunted the honeycombed halls of the Cabrini-Green housing project in 1992’s Candyman. And now he’s back to paint those same corridors red in a reboot of the franchise that examines the urban legend of the Candyman from a fresh new angle.

"Very well directed and much more polished and shiny, Candyman 2021 is not the terrifying experience we were all expecting"

Gone is the alluring story as told from the perspective of a white woman who finds herself at the mercy of a cold-blooded killer in a largely African American housing project, replaced by one that looks at the urban legend through the lens of the Black experience. And in that respect, this revisit from director Nia DaCosta is a better film. It’s just too bad that screenwriters Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and Nia DaCosta get so many other things wrong.

The new Candyman is set in the same neighborhood where the Cabrini-Green towers from the original once stood. All that’s left of the project are a couple of two-story row houses and some shiny new loft apartments in the gentrified neighborhood where aspiring artist Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago Seven) and his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Harris, Dear White People) live.

As Brianna presses the flesh on her rise up the ladder to becoming a successful art gallery director, Anthony is getting dirty in the trenches as he struggles to come up with the inspiration for a new piece. He finds it when an old man in the neighborhood tells of his own encounters with the Candyman back in 1977. The further Anthony goes down the Candyman rabbit hole, the deeper into a dark and demonic world he descends.Candyman

The idea with this reboot is to be a sort of amalgam of the old and the new – to offer something fresh and unfamiliar while paying mad respect to the legacy of the original. It isn’t necessary to have watched the original as it features a ton of exposition to get those unfamiliar up to speed with its storyline. Via a series of creative shadow puppet vignettes throughout the proceedings, the story behind the mysterious legend is revealed while also giving the film a much-welcomed creative flair. In addition, the themes of race relations, cultural appropriation, poverty, and police brutality – although all a bit too on the nose this time around – remain.

However, sorely missing is the gooey gritty atmospheric creep factor that permeated the original. Much of that first film’s success relied on its low budget sensibilities and the fact that we had not really seen anything quite like it before.

Very well directed and much more polished and shiny, Candyman 2021 is not the terrifying experience we were all expecting. Sure, it is well-deserving of its R rating with some great kills and a budget-busting fake blood budget, but it is all too often propped up by jump scares and standard horror movie cliches. If bloodletting and body horror are your thing, you’ll be in slasher heaven. But by the time all is said and done, not much is added to the franchise other than an obvious setup for a sequel.

2/5 stars



4k details divider

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Edition + Digital Code

Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray
- November 16, 2021
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray region free

Candyman comes to 4K with a nifty little 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital Code edition from Universal Studios. Included are a blu-ray disc, a 4K UHD disc and a digital redemption coupon. All are housed inside a black eco-case which fits into the lightly embossed cardboard slipcover.


As expected, Candyman's 2.39:1 2160p HDR10 presentation looks great, with crisp details, and bright colors, while the blacks and dimly lit scenes hold up very nicely. And that might be part of the problem with why this revisit didn't quite resonate with us. The original thrived on its low budget practicalities and gritty atmosphere. It's difficult to mimic that same grittiness in 2160p.


Here's where this thing really shines. Want to see what your system has to offer? Then this is the one to show it. It's all about atmosphere in Candyman, and the Dolby Atmos mix will have you captivated from the moment you pop the disc in. Dialogue is always audible and even works a little left to right appropriate to where characters are situated in the scene. Then the sub kicks in. Then the heights become active. Then everything begins to spin around the room. This is how it should be done.



  • None

Special Features:

Under the Bonus menu are a healthy number of extras totaling nearly 45 minutes. Included are an alternate ending, a handful of pieces that look at various aspects of the film including the film's artwork, the puppetry, a look at the original film, the film's composer and voice music. Also included is an alternate ending and a number of deleted and extended scenes. The best bonus piece in the box is a roundtable discussion with many of the film's principals as they discuss the impact of black horror.

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Say My Name
  • Body Horror
  • The Filmmaker's Eye: Nia DaCosta
  • Painting Chaos
  • The Art of Robert Aiki Aubrey Low
  • Terror in the Shadows
  • Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror

4k rating divider

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details


MPAA Rating: R for bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references.
91 mins
: Nia DaCosta
Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld and Nia DaCostar
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; Teyonah Parris; Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
: Horror
Say it.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman."
Theatrical Distributor:
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 27, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 16, 2021
Synopsis: A "spiritual sequel" to the horror film Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.