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“Want to hear a scary story?”
That enticing question (or horrifying one, depending on your point of view) begins this scene from the new “Candyman” (now in theaters), which is both a continuation and a reimagining of Bernard Rose’s 1992 horror film.
The update is directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by Jordan Peele (with DaCosta and Win Rosenfield). It still involves the menacing figure who comes after you if you say his name five times in front of a mirror, but this scene reaches back to the story of the original film.
Brianna (Teyonah Parris) and her brother, Troy (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), are both hanging out one evening with their boyfriends when Troy turns down the lights and turns up the dread to tell a story. It concerns Helen Lyle, one of the main characters (played by Virginia Madsen) from the earlier film, and how one day she just “snaps.” Killings and snow angels in blood ensue.
Troy’s story retraces the steps of the earlier film’s narrative, with some embellishments. Rather than flashing back to footage from the 1992 movie, moments are depicted with shadow puppetry. Narrating the sequence, DaCosta said that she wanted each shadow puppet segment to “be specific to the teller” because she saw it as “someone’s way of thinking about the story. It’s not necessarily the truth.” In this scene, hands move the puppets to convey a sense of how the storyteller, Troy, is also manipulating his tale.
Read the 2021 “Candyman” review.
Read the review of the 1992 film.
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