Candyman screenshot
Universal Pictures

A few horror movies have been released this year, but they’ve failed to deliver. Now it looks like we’re in for some actual frights in the months to come.  Blumhouse/Universal’s ‘Invisible Man’ opens this weekend, with previews beginning tonight, and has gotten glowing reviews.  Prior to its release, a few truly creepy trailers hinted at the chills to come.  Similarly, the trailers for ‘A Quiet Place – Part II’ pack more terror into a few seconds than other entire movies can deliver.  Now add the first trailer for ‘Candyman’ to the honor roll.

Directed by Nia DaCosta, this “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 classic hails from Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions (‘Get Out’, ‘Us’), so expectations are high, and the trailer certainly seems to hint that horror fans won’t be disappointed.

In real life, the setting for the original movie, the housing project of Cabrini Green in Chicago, has since been gentrified and that plays into the plot of the new film with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (‘Aquaman’) portraying a hot artist named Anthony McCoy whose career seems to have stalled.  He and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), have just moved into a luxury loft in the former slum where he becomes acquainted with the “urban legend” of Candyman thanks to a lifelong resident played by Colman Domingo.

Via EW:

Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifyingly viral wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

While the use of slowed down moody versions of familiar pop songs in trailers is a pet peeve of mine, the one used in this trailer is brilliant!  Check it out below for yourself:


Yes, it’s “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child and it actually sounds like them singing, so this is a remix, not a cover.  Definitely apropos.

Mateen’s character, an artist exploring the Candyman legend, is reminiscent of Virginia Madsen’s character, Helen Lyle, in the original.  Lyle was a grad student who was working on her thesis based on urban legends which drew her into Cabrini Green in a search for information on the Candyman.

Discussing the film, Peele said:

“My connection with Candyman is pretty simple.  It was one of the few movies that explored any aspect of the black experience in the horror genre in the ’90s, when I was growing up. It was an iconic example to me of representation in the genre and a movie that inspired me.”

The titular slayer is barely glimpsed in the trailer.  But it is known that Tony Todd, who played him originally, is part of the cast.  It is widely believed that he is reprising the role, but it has yet to be confirmed.

Costa only teased:

“Well, well, well.  I really love Tony Todd and he’s iconic. I will say what we’ve done with this film — is great! And I don’t want to give anything away.”

‘Candyman’ is set to slash up theater screens on June 12, 2020.