Watching ‘Candyman’ in a Movie Theater Near Me

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy in Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta.
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I just got back from seeing Candyman, one of the many new movie releases out now in movie theaters.

I took a look at theaters near me to compare movie showtimes and settled on going to the 7:45 p.m. showing at the local AMC Theatre near me. While Candyman’s official release date was August 27, I snagged a showtime the day before on August 26.

I arrived at the AMC a little early so I could have a snack. I got mini pretzels and my boyfriend got movie theater popcorn. I’ve been to the movies a lot lately, so most of the advertisements pre-Candyman were familiar. This was by far the busiest movie I’ve been to since the pandemic began, but I expected that based on the buzz online.

What is Candyman about?

Candyman (directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by her, Jordan Peele, and Win Rosenfeld) is a supernatural slasher film. It’s a sequel to a film from 1992 with the same name. Both this film and the original focus on a story of the housing projects of Cabrini Green and a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, Candyman, who is summoned by saying his name 5 times in the mirror. In this film, Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a struggling artist, and his gallery director girlfriend, Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris) have moved into Cabrini. However, the old Cabrini Green has been torn down and has now been gentrified beyond recognition. When the couple hears about Candyman and the tragic story behind it, it inspires Anthony to make it his focus for an upcoming gallery show. Unbeknownst to him, he opens up a door from the past that brings new violence and forces his own destiny. Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen, and Vanessa Estelle Williams reprise their roles from the original film.

My thoughts on Candyman

I personally really enjoy suspense and thrillers. I’m the type of person who tries to guess the twist the entire movie. Candyman didn’t disappoint. The suspense in the air of the theater was palpable. The people around me continuously covered their mouth or their eyes to try and prepare for whatever was coming. I was consistently tense and waiting for the scare. The score definitely contributed to the feeling. While there are a lot of suspenseful moments, I would say that there aren’t too many jump scares. But the movie didn’t need them to feel impactful.

I would warn those who aren’t a fan of gore. While it wasn’t as abundant as other films and I felt like it wasn’t for the sake of just being gross, there were a couple moments in Candyman I had to look away from.

The acting was phenomenal. It had a strong script to back it, but I do think Yahya Abdul-Mateen II breathed life into the story. His deliveries and expressions furthered the suspense and had me anxiously anticipating what could be coming next. In all honesty, the acting was strong overall. Several of Teyonah Parris’s scenes were emotionally powerful. Her character’s backstory and how it paralleled the character’s current life had my heart aching. In fact, all the characters were dynamic which is beyond what plenty of other thrillers offer.

I also genuinely enjoyed the cinematography. The shots and angles conveyed more meaning and built the suspense. Each choice felt meaningful to contribute to a greater story. The choices made were impactful. For example, some scenes about the past used paper cutouts to tell a story. It was beautiful and much more compelling than a simple flashback as well as avoided showing physical violence for the sake of showing it. These cutouts felt more poignant to communicate that story.

What others thought about Candyman

I had a lot of questions and thoughts leaving the theater, so I wanted to see what critics had to say about it.

In CNNs review of the film, writer Brian Lowry writes:

“The filmmakers have done an admirable job weaving the mythology together while employing inventive touches — like shadow puppets as characters discuss the past — to explore traumatic events without exploiting them.”

Johnny Oleksinski of New York Post says:

“Abdul-Mateen is on fire here. The intense actor brings to mind classic horror stars whose characters spin out of control thanks to the supernatural: Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby,” Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” and of course Virginia Madsen in the first “Candyman.” The actor gradually, artfully goes from happy to paranoid to downright possessed, and is watched over in shock by a disturbed, tortured Parris.”

Fellow horror movie fans had tons of thoughts too!

One fan was in awe of the shots in the movie.

Some fans expressed agitation with reviews ignoring director Nia DaCosta.

Mike reminisced about the original movie.

Isaiah can’t wait to see the film again.

Personally, I agree with Isaiah. I have a suspicion that I’ll only get more from the film every time I watch it, which has me eager to see it again. Also, it’s definitely worth staying through the credits!

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