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26th Oct 2017

The horror movie that terrified an entire generation is on TV tonight

We dare you to say his name five times...

Paul Moore

“The finest American horror film of the 1990s.” Don’t miss it.

The older you get, the more desensitised to on-screen violence you become. That’s just a simple fact of life but it’s very likely that film fans still have some ‘mild’ trauma after watching scary movies as kids.

You know what we’re talking about.

For example, the music from The Omen and Unsolved Mysteries – the TV show that was on Sky One – still gets to me, but Candyman still stands the test of time, 25 years after it was released.

“Candyman… Candyman… Candyman… Candyman… Can…..t do it!”

Such is the unnerving quality of Bernard Rose’s adaptation of Clive Barker’s novel, it’s very likely that horror fans of a certain generation are still terrified at the prospect of saying his name five times while looking into the mirror.

Just like The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws or The Omen, there’s something that elevates Candyman above the rest of the pack, that element of truth and believability.

Every town has an urban legend or a haunted house story, but Clive Barker’s horrific tale delves into this mentality and unleashes a tremendously scary creation that still ranks alongside the most memorable horror villains.

In case you haven’t seen it, the film revolves around a University of Chicago student that’s researching urban folklore.

While investigating the housing projects of Cabrini Green in Chicago, she stumbles upon the legend of the Candyman who supposedly appears (whenever one looks into the mirror and repeats his name five times) to slash his victims with a metal hook. Only after she witnesses the atrocities herself, does she believe he exists. To her horror, he wants her to join him in his afterlife dimension.

Clip via Pyrkenstein

Tony Todd plays the Candyman to perfection, and there’s a very gothic and operatic mood throughout the feature.

Everything in the film feels real and tangible, and the violence is absolutely brutal.

One review called it “The finest American horror film of the 1990s,” while Variety added that: “Candyman is an upper-register horror item that delivers the requisite shocks and gore but doesn’t cheat or cop out.”

This point was elaborated upon by TV Guide who felt that Candyman stood out from every other horror film that was released during that decade. “Serious, straightforward cinematic terror is always hard to come by, but this literate shocker ranks among the best horror movies of the ’90s,” they state.

It’s an absolute gem and if you’re in two minds about watching it, think about this.

Candyman was scary enough to convince an entire generation not to say his name into a mirror. How many other horror films have had that type of effect on their audience?

As you can see below, plenty of people are still terrified by its brutal brilliance.

Candyman is on Film 4 this Friday at 23:15.