The Bloody Mary story is something that we know is fake, but something we grew up with in fear. At many sleepovers, a dare from a friend would always have one of us going into the bathroom, shutting off the lights, and saying “Bloody Mary” three times. Whenever I was sent in there, I had the curiosity to see if it would work, but I was always too chicken. It wasn’t until I want to a Boy Scout camp when I was in the sixth grade when I finally finished the third saying. When nothing happened, the fear died, yet I knew I had to pass on the story, just to keep the legend alive.
Something similar to the Bloody Mary tale is told in Candyman. For something that seems so silly like looking into a mirror and the kill will come, I was surprised at how well this was cut. I was expecting something a long the lines of a B horror film and I instead received something more poetic. This actually makes a good case on how belief can become so strong that it can drive you mad. The Candyman can in this slice from the lower-class of Chicago.
Brilliantly produced at a low budget, this film that’s about believing feels more real then ever. The story starts when young graduate student Helen Lyle (played by Virginia Madison) as he’s studying urban myths for her thesis. The legend she’s trying to surround is the Candyman, who is a hook-handed man who will come after you if you say his name five times in front of a mirror. As a joke, she and her friend Bernadette say his name five times, with no result. Though late, the call to this dark man comes answered in a freakish manner.
For her thesis, she uncovers the Candyman’s origin story, as he was an artist who fell in love with a white woman. As soon she became pregnant, he was lynched by a mob and covered with honey so bees would stung him to death. After an attack from a local gang, she starts to hear a voice calling for her. This chilling voice come in the vision of a dark tall man in a fur coat who has a bloody hock for a right hand. This Candyman (played by the frightening Tony Todd who has the creepiest voice) starts calling to Helen causing her to black out and wake up in an apartment with her hands covered in blood. Is the legend for real or is she becoming the legend herself.
Thanks to the right casting and the creepy imagery, Candyman is a very intelligent horror story not just about a hook-handed man, but also a political satire about the lower income society and the consequences of not helping. The dark graffiti and the sight of swarming bees hide this psychopathic killer who’s tragic story would good enough to get it’s own movie. Though this movie is disturbing, Candyman is a great movie that would scare anyone who’s never experienced the hardships of poor living.
I’ll give this four bees out of five. If you don’t feel brave enough to say his name, Candyman should at least be watched to understand to fear that goes into something like the Bloody Mary story.