Tag Archives: Spiral

My Thoughts on: Candyman (1992)

I’m going to be honest right at the start and just admit that the only reason this film came on my radar at all is because I saw the trailer for the upcoming Candyman film when I went to see Spiral. That trailer intrigued me so much, I got curious and asked the Internet if I needed to see the original Candyman film first. As most of them said yes, I picked up a copy of the film, have just finished watching it and let me tell you that film is an experience I will not soon forget.

Honestly, I’m not sure where to start with Candyman, there’s so many parts of it that are incredible. I might as well start with Philip Glass’ score for the film. Had I known that Philip Glass composed the music for Candyman, I probably would’ve attempted this film years ago, as I have the highest respect for his work. This won’t surprise many of you who’ve been following my work, but the music was undoubtedly one of my favorite things about this film. It gives the story of Candyman an almost sacred feeling in some places, which is fitting given the titular character is a supernatural being and the hapless Helen is forced to join that realm by the film’s end. The thing is, I can’t imagine this film being scored any other way, that’s how good the music is! The air of solemnity it gives to the story in just the right moments, that’s what you want in film music, something that elevates the story.

Apart from the music, the story itself is equal parts enthralling and horrifying. Like, this is the stuff of my nightmares horrifying. After invoking Candyman and then attempting to disprove his legend, Helen is literally forced to watch as her life is systematically torn apart and destroyed beyond all hope of repair. The emotional angst and trauma in this film is so palpable that it will be a long time before I can watch this film again. You can feel Helen’s pain as she tries to comprehend what is happening to her. You can definitely feel Ann Marie’s pain in a scene that I found so distressing I’m scared to see what the unrated version of the scene looks like. If the goal of this film was to make me deeply uncomfortable, it worked. My mind was taken places it didn’t want to go, but the story was so compelling I literally could not look away.

And then there’s Candyman himself. I was completely mesmerized by Tony Todd’s performance as the titular character. Once he properly arrives in the film after being teased several times, you literally can’t look away whenever he’s on the screen. Between his deep voice and the sheer presence with which he plays the role of Candyman…I don’t know what to say other than I was enthralled. What really drew me in were the hints at Candyman’s hidden depths. He’s not just some random killing being, there’s a purpose to what he does and it makes a twisted amount of sense if you think about it long enough. And that scene with the bees, yes THAT scene, that pretty much put me over the edge (and that’s all I can say about that).

Was there anything I didn’t like in this film? Well, not exactly. I was uncomfortable with some of the more bloody moments, but that’s because I’m a generally squeamish person. It can’t be a complaint against the film because if I’m watching a rated R horror film, I know I’m going to be in for something messy. However, I do think that sub-plot with Helen’s husband was almost unnecessary. I kind of get why it’s in there, since it provides the final push Helen needs to realize she needs to give in to the Candyman (and it helps set up a fantastic closing sequence to the film), but it still feels like almost an afterthought given everything else going on. That’s really nitpicking though, as I loved pretty much everything else in this film.

Now that I’ve made it through the original Candyman film, I’m more excited than ever to see Nia DaCosta’s take on the story (especially since I’ve seen that Tony Todd will be in that film as well). I am also definitely adding Candyman to my list of must-see Halloween films that has slowly been growing since I managed to watch Halloween (1978) last year.

Let me know what you think about Candyman (1992) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 

My Thoughts on: Army of the Dead (2021)

warning: minor spoilers below for Army of the Dead

I was originally going to skip this film altogether because I normally avoid zombie films (I’m scared to death of zombies and the undead in general). However, after I was able to successfully get through Spiral earlier this week, I decided to give Army of the Dead a try because after all, why not? I’ve been proven wrong before with scary films (the Saw franchise being a notable example), so maybe Army of the Dead would be a similar case where finally, FINALLY, I would find a zombie film I could get into.

Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way.

Don’t get me wrong, Army of the Dead does have some good moments in it (I’ll get to them shortly) but as a whole….I just don’t like it. I don’t know if I went in with the wrong expectations or I’m just not that familiar with how Zack Snyder makes movies, but Army of the Dead by and large was nothing like what I expected it would be. For one, it’s much too long and worse, it begins with a first act that, after a killer opening, is almost dead on arrival afterward. I feel like if you’re going to do a big zombie heist film, you should get to the zombie action part sooner rather than later and the movie just took way too long to get to where it needed to go.

Thank goodness there were some fun moments along the way. The zombie tiger is one of my favorite parts of the whole movie and I love the role it plays within the story as a source of karma. I also love that I was right about the tiger being one of Siegfried and Roy’s (well who else in Las Vegas would have white tigers?).

And then there’s Dieter (the safecracker, played by Matthias Schweighöfer). To quote Looney Tunes, I like him, he’s silly. Seriously, Dieter is my favorite non-zombie character as he’s probably the closest you’ll ever come to seeing how I would act in a zombie apocalypse situation. It was genuinely fun to watch his character arc develop from beginning to end. Also, his chemistry with Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) is genuinely funny. It’s an odd couple pairing that totally works (if only the rest of the film had clicked so well as those two).

On the zombie side of things (outside of the tiger), I was really intrigued by the film’s presentation of “Alpha” zombies. I’m pretty sure the concept of “smart zombies” has been explored before, but I like what Snyder was going for, the idea of there being a type of zombie that still continues to have some form of functional society and order, even if it’s taken on a cruder form. There’s even a mention of “trading” being done with the zombies, which is something you really don’t encounter that often (or ever??) in zombie films and it’s a plot point I wouldn’t mind seeing explored further. I really did enjoy the performances of the two lead zombies. Since we can’t understand zombie speak, most of their performances is channeled through their movements and body language and that was all very well done.

Oh, and on a quick note: I LOVE Tig Notaro, you’d never guess she’d been digitally inserted into the film after the fact.

But these good things don’t change the fact that most of the film rubbed me the wrong way, particularly in how it ends. I had a feeling early on that things wouldn’t end well for most everyone going in to Las Vegas because it’s a zombie film and that’s how zombie films work. But for the love of all things holy in cinema, one of the film’s primary subplots was rendered absolutely moot by how the ending pans out. What was the point of trying to rescue that one character if they die in the end? I get that not all stories have a happy ending but that plot trope in particular drives me crazy. As for the ending scene itself (not THAT scene with Vanderohe, the one before that), I get it, I do. It tugs at all the right heartstrings and is downright heart wrenching. But…I might have felt it even more if the preceding hour hadn’t bummed me out with disappointment.

If you enjoy Army of the Dead, I am genuinely happy for you and I’m glad you enjoyed the ride. But for me, it just felt wrong for the most part, and I felt more disappointment than satisfaction by the time the credits rolled.

Let me know what you think about Army of the Dead in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook