Candyman | Chicago Reader


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. A University of Illinois grad student (Virginia Madsen) doing a dissertation on urban folklore—specifically on a legend about a killer with a hook (Tony Todd) associated with the Cabrini-Green public housing project—ventures into the project for interviews and photographs and gets more than she bargained for, etc, etc. Adapted by writer-director Bernard Rose from a short story by executive producer Clive Barker that originally had an English setting, this depends for much of its shock and suspense on demonizing ghetto life beyond its real-life horrors, which is another way of saying that it exploits white racism to produce some of its kicks. Philip Glass contributed one of his monotonous hack scores; with Xander Berkeley and Kasi Lemmons.



  • Bernard Rose


  • Virginia Madsen
  • Tony Todd
  • Xander Berkeley
  • Kasi Lemmons
  • Vanessa Williams
  • DeJuan Guy
  • Michael Culkin
  • Stanley DeSantis
  • Gilbert Lewis


  • Clive Barker
  • Bernard Rose


  • Clive Barker
  • Steve Golin
  • Alan Poul
  • Sigurjon Sighvatsson

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