After a year-long delay, Candyman premiered in late August 2021 to a record-breaking reception. It became the first number 1 film directed by a black woman. The film’s success shows that Candyman’s character is still very popular nearly three decades after he was introduced to us by Bernard Rose.
Candyman was the ghost of a son of a slave, Daniel Robitaille, murdered in the late 19th century for being in a relationship with a white woman. Upon learning of the relationship, the local whites cut off his arm and replaced it with a hook. They then covered him in honey and let bees kill him, hence the name Candyman.
Candyman is not based on a true story, but it tackles real-life themes such as racism and segregation
2021’s Candyman is a continuation of the 1992 Candyman film. A child that was supposed to die in the movie to keep the Candyman legend alive, Anthony McCoy, is now grown up and looking into the Candyman myth. Eventually, McCoy becomes Candyman.
Candyman is not based on a true story. The films’ original creator, Bernard Rose, based the movie on Clive Barker’s short story titled The Forbidden. Barker based his narrative on the class system in Liverpool.
Rose adapted the story to fit Cabrini-Green’s public housing development in Chicago and introduced the themes of racism and segregation. These themes also exist in Nia DaCosta’s iteration of the film.
Nia tells the horror film through a lens of urbanization and its effects on the black community. The real-life Cabrini-Green project was slated to change housing in Chicago.
However, the city council refused to approve the project in white neighborhoods, moving the project into inner-city black communities. The nature of the project and neglect by the city fueled a rise in crime in the area, making it the perfect place to stage a horror film.
Candyman draws from the black pain experienced by residents of Chicago’s failed housing projects. It references an incident in which 911 dispatchers ignored a call from a black woman, Ruthie Mae McCoy, complaining that people were trying to break into her home through the medicine cabinet.
After other neighbors reported gunshots, police arrived at McCoy’s residence but left without entering. Authorities discovered her body two days later, long after the deterioration of crucial murder evidence.
Therefore, Candyman is not based on a true story, but it draws from several real-life events.