Candyman Plot Synopsis
The new Candyman movie is both a sequel and a reboot. It pays homage to Bernard Rose’s original but it does its own thing too, with new variants on the Candyman mythology that means it’s more than just a simple retread of what has come before.
This one stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony, an aspiring young artist who moves into the now-gentrified Cabrini Green with his girlfriend, Brianna (Teyonah Parris). After learning of the Candyman legend, he decides to incorporate the mythology into his next painting.
Little does he know, however, that he is connected to the tragic events of the past when Candyman first made his presence known to the unfortunate folk on the once run-down housing estate.
What is Anthony’s connection to the original movie? It’s time to get our hooks into this one!
How does Anthony learn about the Candyman legend?
After Anthony moves into Cabrini Green, he has a conversation with Troy, Brianna’s brother. Troy tells him about another urban legend, that of Helen Lyle, who went on a killing spree in the early 1990s. Of course, Helen wasn’t behind the murders at all, as fans of the 1992 movie will know, as Candyman was the one who sliced and diced his way through the Cabrini Green residents.
Anthony learns of the Candyman legend later in the movie although he hears about an updated incarnation of the iconic figure. During a chance encounter with William Burke, a local launderette owner, Troy learns of a man called Sherman Fields, an innocent hook-handed man who was beaten to death by the police.
Staying true to the original Candyman legend, Fields didn’t stay dead. According to Burke, he was later resurrected as a vengeful spirit who only materialized after his name was chanted five times in front of a mirror.
Burke lets Anthony know that Sherman wasn’t the only Candyman. The poor guy was one of a number of victims, dating back to Daniel Robitaille in the 1890s, who were all resurrected as the killer.
Inspired by this legend, Anthony decides to develop an art exhibit based on the Candyman mythology.
Does Candyman return?
After Anthony’s artwork is rejected by one of Brianna’s coworkers at her gallery, he is understandably upset. But while he doesn’t take out his wrath on the man who offended him, Candyman does when the unkind guy and his girlfriend repeat ‘the name that should not be named’ five times in front of a mirror.
They aren’t the only ones to be torn to pieces as an art critic and a group of teenage girls are among those who meet untimely ends at the hands (hook) of the vengeful spirit after they become aware of Anthony’s painting.
What is Anthony’s connection to the original movie?
There is more than one connection.
For starters, Anthony is stung by a bee. As these winged insects are synonymous with Candyman, this is an obvious throwback to the original movie. The sting develops into a scab and before too long, Anthony’s body is covered with them. In essence, he starts to look like a monster, not unlike Daniel Robitaille, the original Candyman, who was horribly disfigured after being attacked by bees before he became the hook-handed killer.
There is another connection when Anthony later goes to visit his mother to find out the truth about his birthplace. To his surprise, he discovers that he was the baby that Candyman abducted and intended to burn in a fire before Helen Lyle saved him.
Anthony struggles to come to terms with what he has heard but he has more to worry about when his body starts to deteriorate further. It’s clear that he is transforming into something else but before his transformation is complete, something else needs to happen. This leads to the final connection between Anthony and the original movie.
What happens to Anthony?
After learning of his past, Anthony goes missing. Brianna looks for him but during her search, she is kidnapped by William and taken to an abandoned church in Cabrini Green.
It becomes clear that Anthony didn’t meet William by chance. The ‘kindly’ launderette owner actually had a secret plan: to bring Candyman back into the public consciousness. This happened when Anthony created the exhibition that encouraged people to start talking about the killer again.
When Brianna gets to the church, she sees Anthony in a trance-like state. She then watches as William carries out the final part of his plan. He chops off Anthony’s hand, replaces it with a hook, and then calls the police, in the hope that they will hold Anthony responsible for the recent murders and kill him.
Brianna manages to kill William but before she can help her boyfriend, the police arrive, shoot Anthony dead, and arrest her. As she is being held in a cop car, she tells the police officer to look in the wing mirror. As he does, she recites Candyman’s name five times. The hook-handed killer then makes his appearance but it’s not Sherman. It’s Anthony who has now been resurrected as Candyman.
After the new Candyman exacts bloody revenge, Brianna exits the car and follows him. But when he turns around it’s not the face of her former boyfriend she sees but Daniel Robitaille, the original Candyman. Anthony has entered “the hive,” as Sherman and many others did before him, and become a part of this vengeful spirit. “Tell everyone,” Daniel says to Brianna as the movie ends.
Candyman is well and truly back which was what William wanted. As racism has never gone away, he knew it was time to bring back Candyman to wipe out those who dared to take out their prejudice on others.
Read More: Candyman Movie Review
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