With the Cult status that Clive Barker’s original Candyman achieved upon its release, a sequel was almost inevitable. Sure enough, two years later Candyman : Farewell to the Flesh was spawned. This first sequel has less emotional and horrific intensity to it as the first movie, but still is a worthy sequel, and definitely a movie that shouldn’t be missed.
The interesting thing about Candyman is that, to my knowledge, all main lead parts were taken by practically unknown actors. This was a smart move on the behalf of the producers (or casting director), as it creates a universe where – as no names are big and bulging with self-assurance – it seems that anything can happen, and anyone can end up as Candyman-fodder. As if to back this fact up, all parts filled by Cult favourites are swiftly, or not so swiftly done away with (a perfect example of this is the wonderful Veronica Cartwright, who does a great turn as an alcoholic, secretive mother).
Although lacking the grace and poetry of the original Candyman, Candyman wins points in its ability to take stark right-hand turns away from the expected and throw the same amount of shocks at the audience as the first movie. With twists and turns aplenty, and a number of violent and horrible deaths, Candyman – thankfully – is one of the better sequels to be churned out from Hollywood. The movie also benefits from the return of Phillip Glass, whose beautiful score breathes life and emotion into the film.
Kelly Rowan was brilliant as Annie Tarrant, and her performance – while not quite matching that of Virginia Madsen in the first – draws the audience in, and you are able to sympathise with her character.
A very different movie with less impact as the original, but one that develops the history (and anscestors) of the Candyman extremely well. Kelly Rowan, William O’Leary and Veronica Cartwright bring great performances (and characters) to life with believeablity, and make Candyman an above-average sequel.