The second movie in the series. It picks up not too long after the first one left off, with the officious Purcell lecturing on the history of Candyman (Tony Todd returns). He’s approached by Ethan (William O’Leary), whose father was killed by Candyman. After Purcell is killed (also by Candyman), Ethan confesses to the murder to save his sister Annie (Kelly Rowan, The Gate), an art teacher in New Orleans around whom the rest of the movie revolves. Annie’s students fear Candyman, so she calls him to prove he doesn’t exist. Which of course goes horribly wrong. In between murders, Annie discovers that she’s Candyman’s great-granddaughter, and that she can kill him by destroying her great-grandmother’s mirror. But the wily Candyman won’t make it easy for her.
As sequels go, it’s not the best. But it’s certainly not the worst. (I think Halloween III has claimed that title.) It boasts the direction of Bill Condon, with Clive Barker as executive producer. It features scream queen Veronica Cartwright as Annie and Ethan‘s mother. I also like the New Orleans vibe; for me it feels natural for Candyman to be in a southern setting rather than an urban apartment complex.
I appreciate that Candyman’s back story is expanded enough to give him a name (he’s Daniel, and his lover is Caroline), but I could definitely do without more flashbacks to him being tortured. I know the filmmakers are trying to say racism is bad, but it’s hard to watch a Black guy being executed by white folks for no particular reason besides that they’re assholes when it’s all over the news in real life.
It follows fairly closely the logic of the original film, though Caroline’s mirror is kinda cheesy. The new storyline, though not extremely original (virtually every franchise horror movie has a heroine who finds out she’s related to the villain), is at least not a carbon copy of the first one. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for a goodish amount of gore and 1995 special effects—and the fine work of bee wranglers!