Candyman (2021) Story Analysis

Candyman (2021) is a supernatural horror film directed by Nia DaCosta and written by Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and DaCosta. The film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name and the fourth film in the Candyman film series, based on the short story “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker.

S P O I L E R S 

While the basic premise is still the same as the original 1992 movie – i.e. Candyman is a supernatural monster with a hook instead of a right hand and a skeletal body held together by bees – there is little doubt that Candyman (2021) takes place in contemporary USA. Thus, instead of a white woman as a protagonist who inadvertently summons the monster, we have a black man (Anthony McCoy, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) whom we later learn, has a deep and direct connection to the original movie. 


The plot in that sense is quite similar to James Wan’s Malignant in that the protagonist in Candyman (2021) is unaware that he is responsible for the death and mayhem happening around him. In addition, the backstory of Candyman is expanded in this movie to include other iterations of the villain, who all share a horrific death at the hands of racists. 

Candyman (2021) Story Analysis

What is also different here is that Candyman’s motivations go beyond the need to strike terror as a bogeyman but there is a sense of racial justice being inflicted on oppressors in Candyman being re-summoned in modern times. There is a sense of inevitability about McCoy’s ultimate fate as he joins the ranks of the Candymen (?) even as Tony Todd reprises his career-defining role at the very end of Candyman (2021). 

With Candyman (2021) the racial justice undertones that existed in the original movie have been amped up. Rightly so, we believe. After all, Candyman’s origin is tied up with a racially-motivated murder and thus, that distinct element cannot be overlooked. Certainly, by the film’s denouement, there is a sense that this is only the beginning for Candyman, and presumably if the movie is successful, one can imagine that a new Candyman horror franchise must be on the cards. 

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