Friday, October 13, 2017 - Candyman is an electrifying, terrifying film. It is the rare mainstream horror movie that prominently features Black actors, settings, and stories. And it shamelessly trades in some of the most egregious racial stereotypes that American culture has to offer.
Such is the uncomfortable paradox of Candyman: its style, storytelling, and iconic villain stand up favorably with those of any other slasher film, and its serious engagement with Black characters distinguishes it from the otherwise overwhelming Whiteness of the genre.
And yet, watching its continuous distortion and demonization of Black sexual desire, one cannot help but think that this required entry of early 1990s horror cinema is in fact one giant step backwards in the representation of Black people on screen.