The Candyman Can Because Yes, Gentrification Deserves Its Own Horror Flick

Illustration for article titled The iCandyman/i Can Because Yes, Gentrification Deserves Its Own Horror Flick
Screenshot: Universal Pictures (YouTube)

Jordan Peele is pretty good at this whole horror thing.

In 2017’s Get Out, he schooled us with a satirical take on the perils of benevolent racism, while 2019’s Us was a duplicitous mind fuck in itself.

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This time around, with Candyman—a spiritual successor to the 1992 original, helmed by the bold and brilliant Nia DaCosta—gentrification is its bedrock. Because what’s scarier than unwelcome white neighbors?

“Gentrification in the film is what helped us reimagine the story,” DaCosta told The Root while discussing the upcoming film with select press. “The movie from the 90s has a vision of [Chicago’s ]Cabrini-Green [housing project] where it’s sort of on its way to being knocked down. And so going back there and seeing what’s happened in that area [...] we’ll talk about the ghosts that have been left behind.”

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From the trailer, those ghosts couldn’t be any more horrifying.

Staring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as an inquisitive visual artist named Anthony McCoy, we’re treated to two minutes and 30 seconds of blood, gore and awe as we bear witness to Candyman’s murderous rampage through his old stomping grounds.

“I really love gore,” DaCosta admitted to raucous laughter. “What’s fun about working with Jordan is that our core aesthetics are different. Jordan is really brilliant at not showing everything and my instinct is to do the exact opposite.”

With Peele serving as a producer, DaCosta also sought to properly build from the original film’s classic lore and mystique.

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“What was useful about working with Jordan is that he’s so good at bringing social issues to the forefront, especially in horror. [...] What we were able to do because 30 years have passed was really dig into the themes that were already there,” she said. “Also the fun of the original film. That was a big part of what we wanted to bring back.”

Candyman arrives in theaters on June 12, 2020.

And if you can muster the courage, treat yourself to the official trailer below.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

Looking forward to this.  I hope Tony Todd makes an appearance!