Candyman Trailer Dares You to Say His Name

When I first read that Jordan Peele was producing Candyman and Nia DaCosta was directing, I knew the film would be as tuned in to the themes of racial oppression as the original entry. Still, the scope of what is being accomplished in the new adaptation is exceptionally smart. As we return to a newly gentrified Cabrini-Green, Colman Domingo’s words echo in your head as he tells Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) the history of the place he’s come to settle down in. The troubling backstory of a black man turned scapegoat before becoming the victim of police brutality. Momentarily appearing to have Candyman’s face, in the next frame does not. The lesson is capped off with the phrase,

“Candyman ain’t a he. Candyman is the whole damn hive.”

Words of warning that the system is hellbent on suppressing the people in Cabrini-Green, and any resident’s story could become the same as Candyman‘s.  

The story told here is not the same legend we first heard in Bernard Rose’s Candyman in 1992. The one about the young black artist that had his hand cut off, replaced with a hook, and then ultimately murdered after engaging in a relationship with the daughter of a wealthy white man. Domingo’s character seems to be suggesting the new legend may not necessarily be replacing the old one, but perhaps the legend was made anew through the killing of another innocent black man. The story told over the shadow play of paper cutouts is haunting enough for a compelling teaser to capture anyone’s interest, yet the trailer continues from there. Anthony discovers the process of summoning Candyman and, in the process, seems to be losing his identity, seeing himself as Candyman in the mirror and told that Candyman has a purpose for him, but could he be destined to be Candyman’s victim?  

Candyman’s trailer fills me with real excitement, and I think, given the scope of this trailer, there are obvious reasons why the filmmakers chose to delay the film a year. Not only is the campfire tale puppetry marvelous artistry, but the horror elements also look delightfully harrowing. Moreover, Candyman contains this perspicuity for raising cultural awareness that I hope will spark the kind of discussions some of us were having last summer in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. Yes, “say his name” has an evident duality in this trailer, especially when we consider the fate of the man in Domingo’s story at the start. I honestly cannot wait to see these pieces come together and instill the fear of both Candyman as well as the system that created him.  

Candyman will (finally) arrive in theaters on August 27.  

So what do you think of the trailer for Candyman? Do you agree with Sean that it looks smart and harrowing? What do you think of the shadow puppetry? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for more trailers, we’ve got you covered!

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Written by Sean Parker

Living just outside of Boston, Sean has always been facinated by what horror can tell us about contemporary society. He started writing music reviews for a local newspaper in his twenties and found a love for the art of thematic and symbolic analysis. Sean joined Horror Obsessive at it's inception, and is currently the site's Creative Director. He produces and edits the weekly Horror Obsessive podcast for the site as well as his interviews with guests. He has recently started his foray into feature film production as well, his credits include Alice Maio Mackay's Bad Girl Boogey, Michelle Iannantuono's Livescreamers, and Ricky Glore's upcoming Troma picture, Sweet Meats.

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