Nearly 30 years after the original Candyman film scared audiences, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to the 1992 thriller hits theaters on Friday, August 27. However, eager fans can summon the Cabrini Green boogeyman sooner and see the movie’s final trailer: all you have to do is visit the official Candyman movie website and say his name five times in a row. First, however, you need to utter it loud enough for the one-armed slasher to hear – and then prepare for what comes next.
Although this will be the fourth installment in the Candyman series, film director Nia DaCosta said this would be much more than a standard remake or reboot. Peele called it a “spiritual sequel” but she thinks it’s better to say this movie will be “a reimagining” of the story.
According to DaCosta, the updated socially conscious take really began with co-writers Peele and Win Rosenfeld. “They had a very strong idea that they wanted the film to be more expansive than a reboot or remake,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times. “If we’re going to do Candyman, we should do more than just copy what was there before.”
Peele is well versed in using the horror genre to explore the Black experience in America, like his classic Get Out, and this movie should be no different. Themes of gentrification, urban decay, gender violence, police brutality, and more will be woven into this new version, and audiences will likely be just as spooked by the up-close look at day-to-day reality for much of Black America as they will be by the undead killer – if not more.
“I think it informs why we knew it was imperative that we expand this beyond ‘Oh, this is one sort of evil demonic killer, and his story happens in the 1800s.’ We just talked about the systemic issues,” DaCosta elaborated. “It’s cyclical, and every generation we have this violence, and it changes, and it warps, and it shifts, so it looks differently. It’s all part of our history. So it definitely informed why we said, ‘OK, we’re going to take this Candyman legend and make it work for us a little bit more.'”