Candyman (1992)



Critic Consensus: Though it ultimately sacrifices some mystery in the name of gory thrills, Candyman is a nuanced, effectively chilling tale that benefits from an interesting premise and some fine performances.

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Researching urban folklore, a University of Chicago student snoops around the housing projects of Cabrini Green to find more about the legend of the Candyman who supposedly appears (whenever one looks into the mirror and repeats his name five times) to slash his victims with a metal hook. Only after she witnesses the atrocities herself, does she believe he exists. To her horror, he wants her to join him in his afterlife dimension. This unsettling feature is based on a short story by Clive Barker.
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In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Virginia Madsen
as Helen Lyle
Tony Todd
as The Candyman/Daniel Robitalle
Kasi Lemmons
as Bernadette
Vanessa A. Williams
as Anne-Marie McCoy
DeJuan Guy
as Jake
Michael Culkin
as Purcell
Stanley DeSantis
as Dr. Burke
Ria Pavia
as Monica
Mark Daniels
as Student
Ted Raimi
as Billy
Vanessa L. Williams
as Anne-Marie
Eric Edwards
as Harold
Barbara Alston
as Henrietta Mosely
Sarina C. Grant
as Kitty Culver
Latesha Martin
as Baby Anthony
Lanesha Martin
as Baby Anthony
Bernard Rose
as Archie Walsh
Glenda Starr Kelly
as Crying Mother
Kenneth A. Brown
as Castrated Boy
Caesar Brown
as Tough Guy
Terrence Riggins
as Gang Leader
Fred Sanders
as Cop (uncredited)
Gilbert Lewis
as Detective Frank Valento
Rusty Schwimmer
as Policewoman
Baxter Harris
as Detective
John Rensenhouse
as Attorney
Mika Quintard
as TV Reporter
Doug MacHugh
as 1st Orderly
Carol Harris
as 2nd Orderly
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Critic Reviews for Candyman

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (6)

Candyman is an uppper-register horror item that delivers the requisite shocks and gore but doesn't cheat or cop out.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Top Critic

Like so many post-Val Lewton horror films, this 1992 feature starts out promisingly while the plot is mainly a matter of suggestion, but gradually turns gross and obvious as the meanings become literal and unambiguous.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One of the best sustained horror movies for some years.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The film's spooky atmosphere is accentuated by Anthony B. Richmond's cinematography and Philip Glass's score.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Madsen is a much better actress than is usually found in such a role. However, if you don't like splashes of blood or bees swarming out of bodies, you may want to think twice about this one.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

What I liked was a horror movie that was scaring me with ideas and gore, instead of simply with gore.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Candyman


A surprisingly efficient horror film - eerie and scary - that invests in an atmospheric score and an intriguing mystery about a living rumor who can only exist through his spooky legend - and it firmly keeps its roots in the real world while the gore never feels unnecessary.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Adapted from the chilling mind of Clive Barker, "Candyman" is much more than a story about an urban legend turned serial killer. Barker looks at the everyday, the mundane, and twists it into submission. He doesn't believe in the suburban, or the normal. Through the clichés he sees the gruesome world of dreams, the outer membrane that surrounds us all, and from that he cultivates a horror tradition that lends itself to the grotesque. In this film, his tensest buildup to date, he shows martyrdom in the face of evil. Virginia Madsen is a graduate student who searches for the legendary Candyman in the ghetto of South Chicago, inevitably finding him. The story revolves around her seduction, and eventual sacrifice for the good of the community. The film is great for the fact that it builds up its villain, and also sets a mood unlike other horror films. The seduction mirrors the old "Dracula" films, and yet is much bloodier for the benefit of slasher fans, bridging traditions and creating a terrifying narrative where the boogeyman is real.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

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