Candyman

Candyman ★★½

This film isn't bad so much as frustrating. There are so many good ideas present in this film that one sees how it could easily have been great. However, instead of picking one or two ideas to hone in on, the film tries to incorporate every single one of them, leading to a situation where none of them feel fully fleshed out.

It's a shame because the filmmaking is very strong. Nia Dacosta has a wonderful eye for visuals and the film is beautiful. Most of the performances are also very strong, with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II turning in an especially strong turn. These elements make me wish that the rest of the film could match it.

The real issue is the script. The film is very short, but also hard to follow, since it never really seems to be committing to a plotline or idea. The third act is especially rough, with some plot elements being dropped and others seeming to come out of nowhere. The film also loses some of the ethereal atmosphere of the original, causing the horror to not feel all that scary. The film also ends just as it feels like it's starting to ramp up.

Once again, there is a lot of good in the film, and it's not hard to imagine one or two more script drafts turning it into something truly excellent. Unfortunately, the main feeling I left the theater with was that of being underwhelmed.