Critics 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.



Total Count: 53


Audience Score

User Ratings: 133,963
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Movie Info

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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Virginia Madsen
as Helen Lyle
Tony Todd
as The Candyman/Daniel Robitalle
Kasi Lemmons
as Bernadette
Ted Raimi
as Billy
Ria Pavia
as Monica
Mark Daniels
as Student
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
Mika Quintard
as TV Reporter
Doug MacHugh
as 1st Orderly
Carol Harris
as 2nd Orderly
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News & Interviews for Candyman

Critic Reviews for Candyman

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (7)

  • Candyman offers a plot riddled with narrative ambiguities that are never fully resolved, all as a spur to the hooked viewer to spread their own take on the Candyman myth, and so to keep it alive.

    Oct 29, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Candyman is an uppper-register horror item that delivers the requisite shocks and gore but doesn't cheat or cop out.

    Sep 17, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    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.

    Sep 17, 2008 | Full Review…
  • One of the best sustained horror movies for some years.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    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 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • What I liked was a horror movie that was scaring me with ideas and gore, instead of simply with gore.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Candyman

  • Oct 20, 2018
    An uneven film, though worth seeing for Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen. Tony Todd in particular has absolute authority over the picture whenever he's given screen time, though Madsen handles her difficult role with ease. The rest of Candy Man, aside from the sets, is average. One particular shot, where Madsen awakens to find herself in the middle of a murder in progress, is executed brilliantly. I found the direction to be a bit stilted for the majority of the picture, perhaps due to some amateurish script writing and execution. I should praise the look of the film though, as well as the practical effects- they're great, and the cgi for the larger effects is done tastefully enough. I did not care for the music though- it soars and clashes against the look of the film. The sound seemed poorly edited as well. One scene of child dubbing was spotty, but the stock sound effects were distracting (noticeable when characters open and close doors off screen). Bad mixing on the adr. This is a turn the film up with subtitles type of mix but, once again, Tony Todd defies limitations and has a suitably powerful and creepy voice. Candy Man: good, worth watching, could've been much better.
    Paris S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2011
    The black Freddy Kreuger and I loved it, it was terrifying and nauseating even.
    Greg A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2011
    Candyman is one of those films I really should have seen by now. I remember the trailer on the Cinema Club trailer reel from a wide selection of videos I owned in the mid 90's. Anyway, I finally saw it and it was great horror. I forgot you could make powerful slasher movies and keep the teens well away. The movie is all about myths and how they can spread and take control. These days myths spread world wide and at a greater rate, thanks to the internet. Candyman really allows you to feel emotions for these characters. Madsen isn't going crazy, but we can't blame people for thinking she is. Tony Todd has a very dominating screen presence, not to mention a powerful voice. The kills all seem necessary in this film, as each one has an impact on our protagonist and the world she inhabits. Finally, we have Phillip Glass' incredible score, which adds a bizarre and haunting atmosphere to the movie. Great horror at an early 90's pace.
    Luke B Super Reviewer

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