Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh [1995]

A stylish though inferior sequel to its classic predecessor, Bill Condon's Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh deepens our knowledge of what made the murdered Daniel Robitaille turn into the monster that haunts dreams and mirrors. But some of it is still pretty routine: schoolteacher Annie takes a long time to connect her family's plantation-owning past and her own artistic talent with the legend, and is far too ready to say the Candyman's name five times in a mirror to debunk her pupils' fears. The setting: New Orleans at Carnival time with a disc jockey whimsically reminding us that Carnival is the last farewell to pleasure before the rigors of Lent. Tony Todd, who returns as the Candyman, gives a quiet dignity and sadness to the monstrous specter with a hook for a hand. His life was torn from him and he is mad for vengeance, yet he has an artistic temperament and loved Annie's kinswoman Caroline. Condon captures an attractive elegiac tone in much of this, as well as moments of brutal horror. --Roz Kaveney

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