Candyman: Farewell To The Flesh (1995)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
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Overall Rating 49%
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Ranked #3,428
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Connections: Candyman

The Candyman moves on to New Orleans and starts his horrific murders once more. This time, his intended victim is a school teacher. Her father was killed by the Candyman, and brother wrongly accused of the murders. --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: September 04, 2011
The original Candyman is one of my favorite horror movies of all time - maybe not my all-time favorite, but it certainly ranks high up on that list. It was based on the short story by Clive Barker, and unlike the vast majority of book-to-movie adaptations, the movie actually worked out better than the story did. This is not a knock on Barker's original story, but a testament to how good that movie truly was. It gave us a menacing character with a great storyline, and the base element of the film (saying "Candyman" five times in front of a mirror) still freaks some people out to this day. Unfortunately, like a lot of solid horror movies, it was plagued by a run of horrible sequels, and today, we're going to take a look at the first of the pair.

Farewell to the Flesh takes place in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, and if that right there didn't give it away, the movie has absolutely nothing in common with the first film aside from the titular villain. Instead, we get to spend our time with Annie Tarrant (Kelly Rowan), her brother Ethan (William O'Leary), and mother Octavia (Veronica Cartwright). As it turns out, Annie's father was killed by Candyman (Tony Todd) years ago, her brother knows about it, she doesn't, and he wants to keep it that way. Unfortunately, he is connected to another man's death by Candyman, and now he is in police custody. Annie decides to get to the bottom of it and eventually discovers the Candyman legend, and from there, we have a movie.

First, the positive. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Candyman's life prior to becoming a supernatural being, as his origin story is truly interesting enough to warrant a prequel. It's unfortunate that we have to wait until the end of the movie to see it and it's even sadder that it only lasts for a few minutes, but still, I did enjoy that aspect and wouldn't mind seeing it expanded to a feature-length film. Those five minutes of the film get a huge thumbs up from me. Oh, I also thought that setting it in Louisiana added a little something to the atmosphere, as Mardi Gras and Candyman go together quite well.

Unfortunately, the other eighty-three minutes didn't fare quite so well. It's the same thing we saw in the previous film: people die, female lead is in the wrong place at the wrong time for each of the murders, police think she did it, yatta yatta yatta. The difference is that Kelly Rowan is not nearly as strong in her role as Virginia Madsen was, and, well, we've seen all of this before. Tony Todd is great as the Candyman, but otherwise, the acting just isn't as strong as it was the last time around, and when you consider that it's basically the same story with new faces, that does hurt the overall product tremendously.

The one major change this time around, and this is a bit of a spoiler for those that care, is that the filmmakers tried to tie Candyman's bloodline to these characters. You see, Annie's great-great-grandmother was a lady named Caroline, who you may recall was the woman that Candyman was in love with and subsequently died because of. This really doesn't bring as much to the table as you may think, as the end result is the same: because of this connection, Candyman wants to kill Annie and have her with him forever. Again, isn't this the same shit we saw in the first film? Oh, but wait! It does set up for a hokey ending, an ending in which Annie has to destroy Caroline's antique mirror in order to turn Candyman to glass and finally kill him, because said mirror contains Candyman's soul. It's as dumb as it sounds, folks.

The other flaws in the film are too numerous to cover them all, so suffice it to say that director Bill Condon had no idea how to handle a proper horror movie. Let's see: the entire running time is plagued by silly "jump" scares (seriously, I counted three of them in a single five-minute scene). The main villain is completely overexposed and loses his mystique as a result - how can you be scared of him showing up and killing someone when he is constantly on the screen and never goes away? The writing is stupid, the acting is acceptable at the very best, all but one of the kills are lame, and aside from Tony Todd himself and those five minutes worth of prequel material, the entire film was just brutal... and I don't mean "brutal" in a good way.

Candyman 2 is a horrible film, and Candyman 3 is even more of the same. This is a series that, as it stands, should not exist: the original film was brilliant, but the sequels bring absolutely nothing to the table and only serve to make the Candyman character look bad. Avoid. 2/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added 06/12/2012, 04:35 AM
On the other hand, I enjoyed it a tad more than the first movie; I'd still place in the average ranking however.
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