Final Analysis: Candyman

To start, I have really enjoyed this class. This is not me sucking up--it's been totally fascinating to watch quite a few films that would never have occured to me to watch (namely Scream IV, Seeds of Chucky, Feed ). And truthfully, I might not have gotten around to Us or Nope so quickly if I hadn't rewatched Get Out for the class. In these lazy summer nights, it gave us something to look forward to and analyze. I also feel like the readings around gender, race, class, capitalism, heteronormativity, body, and disability have made me more literate in both discussing these issues and applying the different lens to films and readings.  But to finalize my return to Candyman in relation to the readings, just a few things to note:  1. In her analysis of Kristeva's "Power of Horror" within "Horror and the Monstrous Feminine," Barbara Creed outlines the monstrous feminine as it relates to the child's relationship with his mother ("the mother and chil

Candyman: Race, Class, Sexuality, Gender, and Disability

Candyman hits on almost all of the sections we discussed over the last six weeks. Let's start from the most obvious and move from there.   Race: A large part of Candyman confronts the anger and rage of the Black community after years and years and years and years of systemic racism. Candyman is an embodiment of all of the men who have suffered at the hands of whites (white police man, the white community, white systems that have set them up to fail such as the housing projects of Cabrini-Green). The monster of Candyman is a tornado of retribution, a hive of bees swirling angrily and containing the men who have been lynched or tortured by whites, starting with the original death of a Black male painter who dared to fall in love with a white woman whose portrait he painted. This monster, like the original, can be summoned by anyone who dares to say his name out loud in front of a mirror five times. Until the very end, the only people who do this are white--and every one of them is

Prep for Candyman: Reading the Reviews

The Rotten Tomatos critical consensus of the 2021 version of Candyman are somewhat mixed. Before watching the movie, I'm reading four reviews from top critics:, Bitch Media, Rolling Stone, The Chicago Reader , and The Observer . Just a side note, I had no idea that Jordan Peele was a co-writer and co-producer on this film. I have not seen the original 1992 version with Tony Todd and Virgina Madsen, and have not (before now) read anything about the movie though I also like that the director is a Black Jamaican woman, Nia DaCosta.    The first negative review is by Melanie Flanders in  Salon. She pinpoints the problem areas in the title of her piece, " No sweets for the New Sweet in Candyman, which neglects the legends seductively scary legacy."   Overall, the criticism is that the movie focu ses too much " around messages about over-policing and state-sanctioned brutality alongside incisive critiques about gentrification, both geographic and artistic."

Review of Nope in Prep for Candyman

We saw Nope at the Princeton Garden Theater, and, probably because I recently watched Jordan Peele's Get Out and Us , I sat at the edge of my seat, ready to interpret and understand the threads that would tie all of these pieces together.  But the pieces didn't quite go together; at least not in the way I thought they would.  The film opens with a scene of carnage on a sitcom where the chimpanzee has gone beserk and killed or maimed many of the actors on the set. The chimp will return, most notably in a scene where he fist bumps to the child actor who survives. I didn't get it. I still don't get it. At least not in relation to any of the racial themes we've been discussing in class. Unless it connects back to the horses--who also figure largely in this movie because the main character, OJ Haywood, is an owner of a ranch that lets out its horses for Hollywood films. His great grandfather was the first human figure in the original first ever recorded film (this is fi

The Horror of the Fairy Tale Movie: Where the Crawdads Sing

 Okay, so last weekend, Dan's mom was in town. She loves movies, and there are many TV shows that we both enjoy--mostly mysteries on PBS like Father Brown or Broadchurch . I really wanted to see Nope but I knew that was a bridge too far for her, so we settled on Where the Crawdads Sing . I read a few reviews of the movie and the consensus was that it was pretty bad. I'd also read the book and found it to be highly implausible. I figured I wouldn't like the movie. I didn't. I didn't hate it either, but in thinking about the lens we've been using in our horror class, there were four distinct places where the film failed miserably. 1 and 2.  Gender and Physicality: the main character is a Kya, a young girl who lives in the swamp regions of North Carolina. Her entire family (mom, three sibilings, and dad) decide to just leave her behind. The mom vanishes first, and never reappears. The siblings split one at a time and also never return or even send a letter. Dad, t

Candy Prep

 Okay, everyone, I switched my movie to the 2021 version of Candyman , so that I could explore more of the themes of race in horror films. For preparation, I'm going to watch Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, a documentary based on a book by the same name.  I think that will provide a good context in addition to the readings we're doing and some other outside sources. Another good piece I found to read is from The New York Times , " How Black Horror Became America's Most Powerful Cinematic Genre ," by Gabrielle Bellot. This article should be useful because it discuss Candyman, as well as some other films we've viewed so far in this class. I will go back to the podcast list I posted as well to see if any of them review Candyman .  I'm particularly drawn to this movie because it's set in the Cabrini-Green housing projects on the southside of Chicago. I lived in Chicago for five years in my early twenties. My section of town was on the Northside ne

Zombies and Me

Or should that be "Zombies and I" or "I Zombie" (a show I will never watch)? I've always been a bit of a scaredy cat with horror films. I think this comes from my mom taking me to see an R-rated movie when I was too young---I can't remember exactly what it was, but there was a scene where a guy swallowed a bit of film and then another guy cut it out of him. I'll Google it later.   My other earliest memory is seeing a horror movie on TV with Karen Black. I've since learned it's called The Trilogy of Terror (1975)   and there were three stories, but the one I remember is this lady getting a wooden doll from another country, and it comes alive and chases her through the house and then inhabits her body. I distinctly remember that she gets it into the oven, but it pops out. The last scene is a possessed KB sitting waiting with a butcher knife, her teeth jagged like the doll's. In looking at that film now, it's clear that the entire thing is