July 1, 2010

Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)

"The Candyman moves on to New Orleans and starts his horrific murders once more. This time, his intended victim is a school teacher. Her father was killed by the Candyman, and brother wrongly accused of the murders."

I rewatched this film only a couple of hours ago and for the first time in nearly 15 years. Back in 1995 I practically used to absorb every new horror VHS tape as it came out, but I'd never really thought of this sequel as being a good one until I bought it again on DVD.

As much as I loved the original "Candyman", I'm almost tempted to say that this sequel is better. It certainly had a lot more gore in it and wasn't quite so drawn out. The flashbacks to what really happened to Daniel Robitaille were quite nasty and made the Candyman a much more tragic figure than he was previously even if he was in danger here of becoming yet another Freddy Krueger for the '90s. Fortunately, this was a lot more than just another slasher even though the story drifted into that territory from time to time.

I'm a big Tony Todd fan anyway but not as big as he is obviously. One of the things that stood out for me is how large a man he really is. He's huge! When Kelly Rowan, who plays Annie Tarrant, put her hand in his near the end, it was like a child putting their hand into an adult's. Tony Todd has hands bigger than your head! Well, one hand anyway, the other is a hook in this film. He was absolutely fantastic, menacing and, possibly, a little bit on the sexy side.

I loved Kelly Rowan in this too. Her character almost went through the same change as Virginia Madsen's but, without giving too much away, the outcome was a lot different. There was one scene towards the end where you could see her almost giving in, and it was a great performance. Stuff like that usually doesn't happen in sequels. She's also very easy on the eye which is always a bonus, and there's a little bit of a non-gratuitous kitchen sex scene too.

Timothy Carhart played her ill-fated boyfriend and I spent ages thinking, "Where have I seen him before?" In fact, a quick check on the IMDb shows that he's pretty much been in every TV series ever made since he started acting. I'll probably never remember his name, but I enjoyed his character too. He was very believable although I do question how he would have got a girlfriend like Kelly Rowan if it wasn't a film. He's not a bad looking guy, but she was supposed to be from some well-to-do family and he was a barman. A little bit of backstory may have helped to validate their relationship, but I could almost work it out from later revelations.

A few people on the internet have bitched about the DJ (or whatever he was) and all the times when his voiceover was somewhat irritating. I didn't think he was very good, but I did find that it added an extra dimension to the proceedings. It was probably supposed to make you think about how all this sinister stuff was going on for somebody who had no choice but to believe while the rest of the world was enjoying the Mardi Gras and had no great belief in the myth at all. Well, that's my take on it. It was a tricky thing to pull off, but it did work mostly.

I noticed that the soundtrack was full of a kind of choral song that continued from one scene to another. I'm not sure what to make of that except that musicians often talk about creating tension with sustained sounds and that was the effect here. It was by Philip Glass, and he knows what he was doing anyway. I don't think there was a single scene without background music in it.

There wasn't a lot of tension in "Candyman 2" to be fair, but the "shocks" did still work and the kills were lovely and brutal. There weren't really any "jump scares" as such, but when things happened they were very effective. Most were predictable but also came with a certain amount of wish fulfilment so there wasn't any great shock to them apart from the violence itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Candyman 2", the acting was pretty solid, and the whole thing was very entertaining. If I had the patience to write pages and pages then I could heap lots more praise on it, but I'd probably pull too much apart and spoil it completely. This is one of those films where you just have to sit back, enjoy the ride and not over analyse anything.

I can recommend rewatching this film to everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment