I’ve been excited about Nia DaCosta’s Candyman since I first heard the initial rumblings about it, though I supposed at that time I was still thinking of it at Jordan Peele’s Candyman. It’s finally available, and as I’m still not comfortable with the idea of going to the theatre right now, especially since in Florida, 99% of the idiots here are 99% more idiotic than idiots elsewhere, I cozied up on the sofa yesterday and paid $19.99 to watch it on Amazon. I think it was worth it!
I’m not certain that any version could ever top the original Candyman story of America’s racist past coming back to haunt it, which I know has its flaws, but I also know that Tony Todd is not one of them–and he is eerily, chillingly exquisite in the film. But despite the fact Candyman 2021 has minimal Tony Todd, I really enjoyed this story of its legacy, how Todd’s Daniel Robitaille “isn’t the only Candyman, that Candyman is ‘the whole damn hive’ as the film’s trailer proclaims, an amalgamation of all the violence and horror experienced by Black men in Cabrini-Green, and even in the whole of America.”
And because I love films that move within the spaces of the art world, I found particular interest in the main character’s roles of artist and art gallery director, and how much of the story took place in this exclusive, money-fuelled realm, policed by white critics, agents, and gallerists. Sort of like Velvet Buzzsaw, but …okay nothing like Velvet Buzzsaw, except for the art galleries and critics. (That was a ridiculous movie, but I loved it.)
Oh! And of course, I loved the striking visual storytelling and practical effects of the beautiful shadow puppetry in this new Candyman!
And finally, I loved that this wasn’t just Candyman/Anthony McCoy’s story, but that of his girlfriend, as well. You really get a sense of her backstory and her motivations and she’s just…a really interesting, rounded person. I think my only issue with the film is that the main character doesn’t seem to get that same treatment. He’s both the whole reason for the story, and what movies the story along, but he also seems unimportant? Like…who is he, even? We only find out much later in the film, but even that doesn’t tell us much about him as a person. Maybe we are meant to feel that way? Maybe that’s the intent of the film?
To tell you a truth, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you must recognize that I am a pretty shit movie reviewer. Most things go over my head and I miss a lot, and half the time I can’t even tell you why I Iiked or disliked a film. A good chunk of my favorite movie list consists of films that are beautiful and have absolutely zero plot, so what do I know? But I’ll never get any better at talking about this stuff if I don’t practice, so here we are.
Some other things I am very excited about today include finally starting a project with this gorgeous Slutty Pumpkin yarn colorway from Dragonhoard Yarn! I’ve been having some issues with my right hand in the general area where the thumb meets the wrist, probably carpal tunnel or some repetitive use type injury, and so even though it killed me to do so, I’ve taken a few weeks off from knitting. Major, MAJOR sad face. The folks at Elmore Mountain Therapeutics were so kind as to send me a few samples of their CBD balms, and between the rest, the thumb brace I grabbed for keeping my thumb stable at night, and this soothing salve, I am starting to feel a bit of relief. I have tins of both the signature balm (lavender scented) and the “medicool” version with peppermint, eucalyptus, and birch, and between the two of them it’s been a lovely respite–and with all of the nourishing oils packed into them–even a bit of a treat for my poor, sore hand.
And of course, is it even 31 Days of Horror without the Halloween issue of Rue Morgue? Look at this gorgeous cover art! As always, I am wonderfully excited to dive into its lurid delights.