2020 was a disappointing year for cinema in general, but particularly for horror fans. A Quiet Place Part II was one of the first big COVID-19 delays, being quickly joined by Spiral, Last Night in Soho, Antlers and, most disappointingly for me, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman reboot. The 1992 original is one of my favorite horror movies of all time, combining a pointed commentary on class and race in inner cities with some genuinely terrifying thrills.
Two iffy sequels followed, but while both were fun, neither managed to capture what made the first movie so amazing. Judging by what we’ve seen of it so far, though, DaCosta has hit the nail on the head. All of which makes it sting that the pic has been repeatedly pushed back from June 2020 and is now scheduled for August 2021.
At this point, I’m tempted to grumble that they should just put it on VOD so we can at least see the damn thing, but apparently Candyman must be viewed on the big screen. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada, star Colman Domingo was adamant that it get a theatrical release, saying:
“It does need to be on a big screen, I believe that. Nia DaCosta directed something that is really epic and it’s really visually stunning. And I think you need to be in an audience and be shocked and at the same time. And laugh at the same time, and go ‘oh’ at the same time.”
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He’s echoing DaCosta herself, who justified the long delay in 2020 by stating:
“We made Candyman to be seen in theaters. Not just for the spectacle but because the film is about comfmunity and stories–how they shape each other, how they shape us. It’s about the collective experience of trauma and joy, suffering and triumph, and the stories we tell around it. We wanted the horror and humanity of Candyman to be experienced in a collective, a community, so we’re pushing Candyman to next year, to ensure that everyone can see the film, in theaters, and share in that experience.”
So, is Candyman going to make August 2021? I’m quietly hopeful, though a US theatrical run is contingent on a successful rollout of the vaccination program and the beginning of post-pandemic life. We’ve already seen a few screens open for limited showings in various states, though most domestic theaters are still shuttered. However, with other countries steaming ahead on their vaccine distribution, we may face a frustrating situation where the rest of the world is able to visit cinemas and we can’t.
Still, my fingers (and hooks) are crossed that Candyman is going to hit theaters on August 27th, 2021.