CANDYMAN – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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I had never seen the 1992 horror film Candyman, and I’m so glad I watched it before I saw the new movie of the same name. This is being promoted as a “spiritual sequel” to the ’92 film, but it’s very much a direct follow-on from the original story (which is itself loosely based on a story by frightster Clive Barker called “The Forbidden”). Would the new movie be incomprehensible without the background of the first one? Not at all. But if there is anything you find even the least bit appealing about this new Candyman, you would do very well indeed to watch, or rewatch, the ’92 film.

The older Candyman holds up extremely well 30 years later, and would today be considered “elevated horror,” an ugly phrase that has become necessary only because the genre has gotten so clogged with meaningless ultraviolent slasher flicks and gratuitous torture porn (another ugly phrase, but an oh-so appropriate one). Both Candymans, the 1992 film and the new one, use horror to delve deeper into humanity’s dark side. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).