Most people will remember a time in their childhood when they went into their school bathroom alone and said “Candyman” three times into the mirror. Luckily for us, we weren’t living in Jordan Peele’s forthcoming film, which brings the terrifying myth to life.
Candyman, which is written by the Get Out creator and directed by Nia DaCosta, is a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 film of the same name. It tells the story of artist Anthony McCoy (portrayed by Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), who move into a luxury loft condo in Chicago.
The condo is on the site of the former Cabrini Green housing project – a real development that was destroyed in 2011 – which, as the film’s synopsis reads, “was terrorised by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror”.
When McCoy and Cartwright move in, it’s been a decade since the project was destroyed, but after a former Cabrini Green resident reveals the true story behind the myth, McCoy becomes obsessed with exploring the horrific tale as inspiration for his paintings. What unfolds – as seen in the newly-released trailer – is an unraveling of McCoy’s own sanity and a hideous wave of violence.
Tony Todd and Vanessa Estelle Williams, who both starred in the original Candyman, are set to reprise their roles in Peele’s supernatural slasher.
As reported by IndieWire, DaCosta has previously drawn parallels between Candyman and real-world events. “In the real world, we create monsters of men all the time,” she said. “People are murdered and they become either saints or they are vilified. So, throughout the last year and a half, it was always coming back to that truth.”
“Horror is a really effective tool when it comes to telling stories about things that impact us on a social level,” she continued. “The very function of it is to make you uncomfortable, and I think if that discomfort is attached to explorations of race or gender, you then have to reconcile your feelings about race and gender.”
The film was originally slated for release in June 2020, but was delayed by a year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s now set to premiere on August 27. You can watch the trailer below.