Sequels can be challenging, especially when your initial message can only be told a few ways, but when you have got interesting characters and a potential audience, it is worth a try to tell at least one more story. In 1995, the spectre of Candyman travelled further south from Chicago to New Orleans, in Candyman: A Farewell to Flesh.
After the events of the first film, we find Professor Purcell in New Orleans plugging a book about the ghastly affair. We move on to a teacher, Annie, who appears to have little to do with the Candyman fable, after saying his name in the mirror five times, has made herself (and people around her) a target for him. These killings keep ramping up as the days till Mardi Gras decrease. It is up to Annie to stop this ethereal killer, as she discovers the shadow of terror runs deep through her bloodline.
The second Candyman takes the action down to Louisiana, it is a fitting location as the city of New Orleans is dripping in culture and folklore that Candyman embeds into its D.N.A. while feeling natural to the character and the world Candyman inhabits. We hear glimpses of a local radio jockey who is counting down the days till Ash Wednesday, it feels as though he is counting down to our hero’s demise. With Lyle’s story tied up nicely in the last film, we, unfortunately, do not get a return for Madsen, we do however get a return of Tony Todd, who once again excels himself as the murderous yet sophisticated phantom. Though our new protagonist is an educator who has lost family looking into the macabre legend of Candyman and despite reluctance is drawn deeper into his deadly web.
Efforts have been made to make the storyline even more personal to the eponymous Candyman. The heart-breaking backstory of his demise is depicted here, as opposed to being simply told. But the focus is on Annie and how she tries to stop Candyman while he threatens everyone she loves. In doing so Candyman 2 offers its audience a substantially similar experience to what they would expect from other slasher films of the time. Inventive murders are the present here, including a sequence I enjoyed where a C.C.T.V. camera depicts the killing of a key witness in a similar fashion to stablemate, Hellraiser 6, except it is showing the audience less than opposed to more.
As sequels come and go, Candyman 2 is a solid follow up to a lot of what the original started. Gives the same experience fans expect while delving in deeper into the origins of the character and amplifying the quantity and quality of its kills to justify its existence. Moving the location to New Orleans helps spice up the drama, with a smorgasbord of sets and a tonne of ambience. Candyman 2 shows that anytime and anyplace, certain concepts can be just as effective.
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