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Dare to Say His Name. 

Year: 2021 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Nia DaCosta 
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett  
An image from Candyman

Though the towers in Cabrini Green have been pulled down as the area’s become increasingly gentrified, everyone who still lives in the area knows the legend of Candyman. Around 30 years ago, a strange local man went around giving out candy to kids. When some were killed from razor blades hidden in the candy, the police beat, tortured, and eventually killed their prime suspect. Now when you look in the mirror and say Candyman five times, he will appear and seek vengeance!

Having just moved into the neighbourhood where Candyman was killed, Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is a young artist intrigued by the legend, who wants to learn more to gain inspiration for his next paintings. His girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris) is unimpressed and can’t understand his fascination. Of course, as Anthony’s obsession grows, he can’t resist reciting the words in front of a mirror. As mysterious and violent deaths keep happening around him, he realises that he has no idea how to stop what he’s unleashed…

As you might expect when produced by the Oscar-winning director of Get Out, Jordan Peele, this film is entertaining while reflecting on contemporary racial issues. The tag line “Dare you say his name” intentionally echoes the call to arms for the current movement against undue lethal law enforcement. The director, Nia DaCosta, balances some hard truths with dark comedy, and buckets of gore, resulting in a thought-provoking yet fun film.

Gail Marshall

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Screenings of this film:

2021/2022 Autumn Term (digital)