'The Complete History of Candyman' Documentary Arriving This Summer

Candyman. Say his name five times in front of a mirror and he’ll show up, bees buzzing, hook-hand raised, whispery voice ready to give you some ASMR vibes right before you die. Based (loosely) on a short story by Clive Barker, the 1995 horror film Candyman is an all-time-classic – an operatic, gory, highly unnerving exploration of urban legends and race. The film spawned a few not-so-great sequels, and this year will see the release of a new Candyman directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by Jordan Peele. A new documentary, The Complete History of Candyman, has set out to explore the franchise as a whole, and why it continues to hold us in its sway. Check out a trailer below.

The Complete History of Candyman Trailer

The Complete History of Candyman is a new documentary from Bryn Curt James Hammond that “begins with an overview of the heyday of horror and its sharp decline, solely down to the responsibility of the decay of the slasher sub-genre, when all of Hollywood, from the sleaziest independent backstreet butcher to the highest-paid studio executive, was green-lighting any film that featured a masked psychopath, scores of 30 + something teenagers with a half decent set of lungs, an ample array of ways to die and, in the best of both worlds, all three.”

From there, the doc “comes full circle by analyzing the symbiotic relationship between the horror genre and the African-American experience, and how Spike Lee’s masterpiece, Do the Right Thing, became the bracing model for how the studio system packaged contemporary racial issues in a manner that startlingly respects the ability of viewers to think for themselves, leading to the birth of Bernard Rose’s Candyman; the two are inextricably linked, and its sequels.”

All of this sounds neat, and as a fan of the original Candyman, I’m interested to see where this goes. I especially like that the documentary appears to actually have something to say. There have been an unfortunate series of fan documentaries – that is, films that bill themselves as documentaries but are little more than a series of people talking about how much they love something without much insight beyond that. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of fandom, but if you’re making a documentary, you need more than talking heads saying, “Wow, this movie is so cool!” over and over again.

That said, it doesn’t look like anyone involved with any of the Candyman movies is interviewed here, and that’s a little unfortunate. Still, I’m more than willing to give The Complete History of Candyman a shot when it arrives sometime this summer. Meanwhile, Nia DaCosta’s new take on Candyman is expected to open on August 27, 2021.

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