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Dare you say his name 5 times. 

Year: 1992 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

One of the few genuinely frightening movies since Jack Nicholson cracked up in spectacular form in "The Shining", "Candyman" is an American adaptation of Clive Hellraiser Barkers' novel "The Forbidden", whisking it from the not-so-glamorous setting of inner-city Liverpool to the Chicago suburbs.

In the films lead role is Virginia Madsen, shrugging off her femme fatale image to give a credible and moving performance as an anthropology student preparing a thesis on urban legends, who keeps encountering the hook-handed mass-murderer Candyman in her research. A far cry from the loveable Hook of Peter Pan and Spielberg, ths guy is terrifyingly vicious, and can be summoned from beyond the grave by any woman foolish enough to look in a mirror and repeat his name five times.

Level-headed Helen (Madsen) treats all this as folklore, until Candyman's recent supernatural horrors (a baby is kidnapped, a dog beheaded and a bystander gutted) are attributed to her. As she attempts to unravel the mystery, so her mind appears to unravel itself, confusing events. Are they the work of a supernatural killer or a schizophrenic? Meanwhile the monster is attempting to seduce her into joining him in the afterlife...

From the stunning opening sequence that is both a perfect visualisation of the story's opening line and an early indication of director Rose's stylish take on the much-abused horror genre, Candyman both grips and terrifies. A superb tribute to the fact that you don't have to be stupid to scare and that horror can be intelligent and psychologically powerful without constant splatter on the screen, Candyman raises itself above the superficiality of most recent horror movies.

Catherine Lumbers

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Screenings of this film:

1993/1994 Autumn Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
1995/1996 Summer Term (35mm)