I went into Candyman practically knowing nothing. It was my first time back in the movies since COVID started and I was really excited to see a scary movie. The advertisements portray it as one of those stereotypical psychological thrillers, so I knew it’d be right up my ally. However, this movie is so much more. Before I go on, I have to give a spoiler alert. This article is going to talk about Candyman’s story and its theme.
Candyman was not a scary movie in the way you think it was, it is terrifying because it portrays real life. The story follows an artist, named Anthony, who is in a rut when it comes to his artistry. Anthony’s girlfriend’s brother one night decided to tell a “scary story” while he was over for dinner. Troy, Anthony’s girlfriend’s brother, told the story of Helen Lyle, a woman who did a project on Cabrini Green and was driven insane by a man named “Candyman.” This story inspired Anthony to dig deeper. He finally felt the flames of passion lit within himself again. As he dug deeper he found out about another story that has to do with Candyman, one involving a child. The child’s name is William Burke and he ironically owned a laundromat. Burke told Anthony about the details of what happened the day he met “Candyman.” This was the story of a man who gave candy to little children in the neighborhood of Cabrini Green. One Halloween night, razor blades showed up in the children’s candy and all fingers were pointed to the man who gave out candy. Sherman Fields is the guy’s name. Sherman eventually had to hide from the cops, so he decided to hide in the walls of a laundromat. One day he came out of the wall and scared a little boy by accident, and just wanted to give him candy. All the police filed down the hall into the laundromat after hearing William scream and killed Sherman, with no remorse. A week later, razor blades were still showing up in kids candy.
Sherman Was an Innocent man.
That was a little introduction about what the movie is about, now it’s time to dig deeper. One of Anthony’s pieces was called, “say my name,” and he repeats this line when his name is said on the TV, but with slightly different phrasing (“They said my name.”). On the posters it says, “say it”, and the characters would repeat “Candyman” five times to summon him. Does the phrase, “say my name”, or possibly, “say their name”, ring a bell? It is the same thing that is said when a person of color dies from police brutality. Skipping back a little bit, in the Sherman story, William Burke said he has never seen someone as terrified as Sherman was when the police came down. Eventually the police killed Sherman, a complete act of police brutality because Sherman was not fighting back. Towards the end, (major spoiler alert), Anthony was shot by the police for no reason, once again highlighting police brutality towards people of color. Throughout the story, this “Candyman” who was summoned would only kill racists, for instance, the policemen at the end who killed Anthony and the woman writer who was explicitly racist to Anthony and hated on his work. She said to him, “you people”, and then tried to cover it up by saying she meant artists, but he knew what she meant. The people who were correlated with Candyman, for instance Anthony or Sherman were profiled as criminals and threats for no reason, besides the color of their skin. At the end, the watcher realizes that Candyman is the person that white people want you to believe the person who was killed was. For instance, making the people seem evil just because of the color of their skin, but in reality, police brutality was the real crime.
I urge everyone to see this movie because it highlights the black experience. For those of us who are white, we will never fully understand what people of color have gone through or what they are still going through. However, we can educate ourselves, and watching Candyman will help.
It shows you black pain, white supremacy and the corruption of the system.
It will illustrate things you will never understand or have to go through. I feel like I can’t write enough to do this movie justice so do yourself a favor and watch Candyman.