Whatever you do, don't say his name five times.
The first trailer for Candyman dropped today, and it’s full of unsettling visions that’ll have horror fans eagerly awaiting the movie's June 12th release. The Nia DaCosta-directed flick is a reimagining of the 1992 classic supernatural horror film of the same name, or as producer and co-writer Jordan Peele calls it, a “spiritual sequel” to the original Candyman.
1992's Candyman, starring Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen, is an adaptation of horror author Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden”. The film follows Chicago sociology graduate student Helen Lyle (Madsen) as she researches the urban legend of a violent and vengeful ghost known as the Candyman (Todd). In life, the Candyman was an African American artist who in the 19th century was brutally murdered—beaten, mutilated, and fed to bees—for a forbidden interracial love affair. The upcoming movie takes place in the same gentrifying neighborhood of the 1992 film, following the path of visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) as he explores his inexplicable draw to the gruesome Candyman legend.
Set in the Cabrini-Green public housing development of Chicago, the 1992 movie explored racial tension and social class dynamics in the inner city. Nearly thirty years later, the new Candyman explores many of the race and class issues that divide us today, while also delivering some spine-tingling nods to the beloved lore of the original movie.
The tension generated by today's trailer comes from all the terrors we don’t get to see. Throughout the trailer, bees buzz about the characters, alluding to the danger and dark history of the Candyman. We see a flash of the brutal hook protruding from a bleeding stump. What we don’t get is a clear look at the titular villain, as characters in the trailer are seemingly assaulted by flickering shadows and empty air.
What does this mean for the iconic Candyman? Could actor Tony Todd be back to reprise his role? DaCosta has been tantalizingly vague about the role Todd does or does not play in the upcoming horror movie. Hopes are certainly high. Fortunately we do get a return of Vanessa A. Williams as Anne-Marie McCoy, and an appearance of Virginia Madsen in the trailer in an unspecified role.
One thing’s for sure, this trailer, accompanied by a haunting remix of Destiny Child’s “Say My Name,” ensures that this reimagining is one to watch. But if you’re having trouble waiting until June, you could always try saying the Candyman’s name in the mirror five times…
Watch the new Candyman trailer below!
Candyman is set to hit theaters on June 12th, 2020.
Feature still from Candyman: MGM