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          A children's ghost story comes to terrifying life in this gut-wrenching thriller about a graduate student whose research into modern folklore summons the spirit of the dead. Braving the gang-ridden territory to visit the site aof a brutal murderer, Helen Lyle arrogantly assumes Candyman can't really exist... until he appears, igniting a string of terrifying, tragic slayings.

"I am the writing on the wall, the whisper in the classroom! Without these things, I am nothing."
                  - Candyman

          This dark and unnerving horror outing based on a story by Clive Barker and directed by Bernard Rose has quite rightly earned a reputation as one of the best horror films of the Nineties.
          The story follows Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), a researcher for a University as she works on her latest thesis regarding modern urban legends. After hearing stories about the myth of the Candyman (Tony Todd) she and her friend Bernadette Walsh (Kasi Lemmons) decide to investigate the myth further. According to the legend if you stare into a mirror and recite the word 'candyman' five times then you will call him and he will come for you so obviously that is what Helen decides to do, but it didn't work….or did it?
          'Candyman' has to be credited as at least one of the top five horror films of the 1990's due to its interesting and unnerving subject matter. The story takes the ideas of harmless urban legends (much similar to the ‘Bloody Mary' legend) and gives them an evil and physical form. While some people have slated 'Candyman' for ignoring its own rules I don't think it did. 'Candyman' is not a straight forward horror film; there is an intricate plot which requires thought to be fully understood. The Candyman is expected to act one way but chooses to do otherwise, he plays games and confuses people with riddles, why does he do this? Those are the type of things that people make complaints about when talking about this film, he should do one thing but does another, however the reasoning for this is explained in the film if people look for the answer. 'Candyman' itself is a rather interesting and complex puzzle that needs thought to figure out.
          Bernard Rose does a great job of creating an unnerving and dark atmosphere which is complimented perfectly by the haunting music. The film has an almost religious feel to it without actually being a religious-based movie and an abundant sense of dread is created through some inventive and impressive direction. Virginia Madsen's performance should be acknowledged as well as she plays her role very well, even generating feelings of sympathy for her character.
          The only thing I'd say that this film lacks is character development. While Madsen's character is developed well the other characters in the film, including the Candyman himself, remain rather under-developed. While I will agree that leaving a certain air of mystique to the Candyman is a good idea and enhances the whole experience I feel that Bernadette and Trevor Lyle (Xander Berkley) become almost unrelated characters. The relationships between Helen and these two characters aren't explored enough and this I feel negatively effected a couple of scenes where these were pivotal characters.
          However, even taking that into consideration 'Candyman' is definitely worth watching for horror fans and even just casual movie fans. This is a quite ingenious and thought-provoking movie that doesn't rely on gore and cheap effects but rather its self-generated dark atmosphere to provide tension and shocks.

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          - There is a Guy Fawkes mask hanging next to Helen's bathroom mirror. Fawkes is an infamous figure in English history (an influence from Clive Barker's original story perhaps), who attempted to blow up the English Parliament on November 5, 1605. Every year the British celebrate Guy Fawkes Day by lighting bonfires and burning Fawkes in effigy.

          - The bees were breed specifically for this movie. They need to make sure that the bees were only 12 hours old so that they looked like mature bees, but at that point, the stinger isn't powerful enough to do any real damage.

          - Virginia Madsen claims that she was hypnotized for some of the film's scenes.

          - "Sweets to the Sweet" which is written on the walls in two areas of Cabrini Green is actually a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet.

          - Candyman grossed $25,792,310 in the USA.

          - When the Candyman breaks the window to escape the psychiatrist's office at the hospital, there are shards of glass in the frame. In subsequent shots, when Helen, or Virginia Madsen, goes to the window, all of the glass has been cleared.

          - Phillip Glass didn't want to score the film at first because he didn't want to do a horror film. But after Bernard Rose showed him a rough cut of the film, he decided that there was more to the film then he originally thought.

          - Virginia Madsen, is allergic to bees, so an ambulance was always on set while filming the bee sequence.

          - Released on October 16, 1992.

          - Real bees were actually put into Tony Todd's mouth while they where shooting the climax. His only protection was a mouth guard that kept him from having the bees go down his throat.

          - The European version was cut by 12 minutes, the region 2 DVD restored it to 94 minutes from the original 86 minute version.

          - The architecture flaw of the medicine chests and people being able to sneak in, is something that Bernard Rose discovered in his research for the film and there was actually a series of murders that were committed this way.

          - Virginia Madsen won the Saturn Award for her portrayal of Helen Lyle.

          - On the DVD commentary, Alan Poul said that had Virginia Madsen been unavailable, the part of Helen would have most likely gone to the then unknown Sandra Bullock.




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