Candyman (1992)


Written & Directed by: Bernard Rose

Executive Produced & Written by:
Clive Barker


Virginia Madsen .... Helen Lyle
Tony Todd .... The Candyman / Daniel Robitaille
Xander Berkeley .... Trevor Lyle
Kasi Lemmons .... Barnadette 'Bernie' Walsh
Vanessa Williams .... Anne-Marie McCoy
DeJuan Guy .... Jake

Special Appearance:

Michael Culkin .... Professor Philip Purcell
Ted Raimi .... Billy
Rusty Schwimmer .... Policewoman

Release Dates:
Toronto Film Festival: September 11, 1992; Theatrical: October 16, 1992; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1993



There's a children's ghost story about a slave spirit with a hook hand whom is said to haunt Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing project named the Candyman (Tony Todd) in which he appears if you go to a bathroom mirror and say his name 5 times but of course he can come to kill you.
A graduate student named Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) whose research into modern folklore interviews anyone who witnesses any of these events along with college freshmen and for fun her and her friend Bernie Walsh (Kasi Lemmons) says his name 5 times in a bathroom mirror but nothing happnes.... just yet! They laugh about it later on.
Both Helen and Bernie go to the housing project which is surrounded by black gangsters and meet up with a child named Jake (DeJuan Guy) while they search the place along with the owner of the housing named Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) who talk to them about what goes on there.
While Helen takes pictures in a broken down washroom where people claimed the Candyman did some of his slayings she encounters a toilet full of bees and then is assaulted by the gang leader telling her he's the Candyman and she thinks it was just a myth with the head gang member calling himself that and gets arrested while little Jake thinks the Candyman is out to get him for telling the Candyman's secrets but tries to convince him the Candyman isn't real until she goes out to her car in a parking lot and meets him.
Next thing Helen realises that she's in Anne-Marie's suite as her baby is missing and is also framed for buthering her guard dog then sent to an insitution.
It seems that whenever the Candyman kills someone she is caught for the murder while she tries to rescue the baby from the grips of the Candyman as he has full control over her and must fight him if she can even if it means risking her own life.


The film shows a good beginning with the camera zooming over the city and traffic of Illinois.
There's also a good narration on a witness that involves a biker kid and his girlfriend feeling up one another in a bathroom and then daring to use Candyman's word in front of a mirror with a close to jumping moment after the girlfriend says his final name in the mirror when she turns out the light.
We also have good discussions between Helen Lyle and Barnadette 'Bernie' Walsh especially when they go to a bathroom mirror to say the Candyman's name in which is leaves you an impression they are not taking it seriously and something bad is going to happen later on.
There's a nice shot on Helen sleeping in her bed in the dark and suddenly Trevor Lyle jumping on her and goofing around which almost makes you jump thinking it's the Candyman but surprise, it's her boyfriend.
There's good shots on both Trevor and Helen in a dining hall with some other friends. We have a nice tale by Professor Philip Purcell talking very darkly along with a nice expressionless shot on Helen holding a cigarette.
There's many good reactions and shots with Madsen and Lemmons exploring a run down building in suburban Chicago and taking pictures with the odd bit part actor playing a black street kid causing them trouble.
There's many good reactions and shots with Helen and Bernie exploring a run down building in suburban Chicago and taking pictures with the odd bit part actor playing a black street kid causing them trouble.
There's the odd jumping moment with a rottweiler barking with supporting actress Anne-Marie McCoy answering the door and acting very protective.
There's also a good discussion between Helen and Jake when she is asking him about the Candyman and his history and he does well with his narration during a flashback scene which shows a busted up washroom and the gruesome results with nice shots on it.
Good moments when Helen is about to enter the abandoned washroom and coughing from the stench in there along with her opening the doors to the toilets with the results.
We have a great shot on a gang leader looking overthe character Jake and then he turns around looking up at him saying the Candyman's name.
There's a great shot on a toilet with a swarm of bees in it and Helen reacts well by closing the lid acting scared. We spot a nice shot onthe gang leader cornering her and asking if she was looking for the Candyman and telling her she just found him with a nice swing of him holding a hook and whacking her in the eye.
There's another good discussion between Helen and Jake with his fear that the Candyman is going to get him and she assures him it's all a myth with a good shot on him showing an untrustworthy expression and reaction too.
There's a great shot on the Candyman in a parkway of a building standing there in his fur coat looking spooky like with his words towards Helen .
There's a great shot on Helen lying on a floor waking up along with a good battle between her and Anne-Marie when she attacks her acting insane.
There's a good scene with a policewoman telling Helen to take off her clothes for inspection while Helen is doing this and getting emotional while doing so which looked slightly disturbing.
There's another good jumping moment with the Candyman leaping out with his hook out of a bathroom mirror towards Helen with her backing up and screaming at him that he isn't real while he corners her against a wall.
We have some good situations with Helen acting aggressive in an asylum as well as fighting her way out with good shots on the Candyman trying to help her with the odd killing.
We have a good shot on the baby with the Candyman's finger in his mouth.
There's a perfect shot with the Candyman opening up his coat to expose his insides with bees flying around and out of his mouth as well with him bending down to put his mouth towards Helen when she tries to struggle.
We show many good shots on the baby underneath a clutter of junk with Helen trying to go inside to save him and then a gang of people which involved Jake burning the junk with torches and the Candyman trying to grab Helen.
Great shots on Helen crawling out on fire with the baby along with a good shot on the Candyman burning in flames.
Bottom line: First there was the Boogeyman which was Michael Myers, then there was Jason Voorhees, next was Freddy Krueger and now.... the Candyman!!!! However, the story seems promising at first but it becomes a major bore but we spot great performances and disturbing directions which saves the film from going below average.
We have plenty of graphic horror violence with lots of blood too along with the odd jumping moments and scares too if you use your imagination especially by calling out the Candyman's name to the mirror 5 times to see if he will get you as I did that on other legendary tales as a child.
The story is mysterious but it becomes a failure while watching it expecting a mainstream movie like this to be top shelf. However, we do get a shocking ending and it remains to this day a cult classic.

The acting is very well done. Virginia Madsen (Helen Lyle) plays the role well as a reporter with the right looks too having that Marilyn Monroe kind of appeal. She shows some nice emotions and a good natured attitude along with terrific intensity and enraging aggressions too along with her crying as well. She does well in a scene acting aggressive and telling someone off which she gets into a good psychological mode.
Tony Todd
(Candyman) now he's the perfect horror character for this role with his deep and dark voice alonjg with his intimidating looks and size too. He really brought everything out with his part and lived to play it. This role helped him get work in some other horror films too. But of course we all remember him in the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead but this role was his big one nonetheless.
Xander Berkeley
(Trevor Lyle) played the right boyfriend in the role with his wit and charming personality bringing it in alltogehter and was excellent with his crying emotions towards the end of the film.
Kasi Lemmons
(Barnadette 'Bernie' Walsh) was another nice character actress showing some bubbly charisma to her part in the film.
Vanessa Williams'
(Anne-Marie McCoy) role wasn't that big but she will be remembered with the role she portrayed in this film and we couldn't ever forget her losing her mind when her baby is missing going crazy.
Child actor De Juan Guy (Jake) does well as a young hoodlum in Chicago with his nice sensitive attitude and worrysome behavior about the Candyman whom is another cast member we will all remember after watching this film.
We have another actor who had a small part in the film named Michael Cullin (Professor Philip Purcell) whom was witty with his character and really brought his part out well to grab your attention as a friend dining with the lead actors.

Virginia Madsen briefly shows her breasts while taking off her bra in her bloodied body at a police station. She also exposes her breasts while lying in a bathtub.

Lots of bloodbaths and bloodsheds
A decapitated rottweiler on a floor
Bodies are cut open by the Candyman's hook
The Candyman exposes his open body
A woman is burned alive
A person is bloodily stabbed to death
This film is definetely a bloodfest

Philip Glass composes some good old fashioned organ music which really suits the story along with the odd chanting sounds too as well as the bangs for the jumping moments and at times some piano music too.

Claire: If you look in the mirror and you say his name 5 times, he'll appear behind you breathing down your neck

Gang Leader: [to Helen] I hear you're looking for Candyman, bitch. Well, you found him!
[knocks Helen to the floor with the back of a hook]

[repeated line]
Candyman: Be my victim.

Candyman: The pain, I can assure you, will be exquisite. As for our deaths, there is nothing to fear. Our names will be written on a thousand walls. Our crimes told and retold by our faithful believers. We shall die together in front of their very eyes and give them something to be haunted by. Come with me and be immortal.