1992 / d. Bernard Rose
Clive Barker’s jaunt into urban myth is everything you’d expect. Virginia Madsen stars as a woman seeking to complete her university thesis, and in doing so discovers the local legend of the Candyman (Tony Todd). As she delves deeper into the sinister and sensual world of the former slave-turned-spectre, her world is thrown into violent turmoil. The unpolished quality of the film, coupled with realistic performances and a haunting minimalist soundtrack by Philip Glass elevate this into the higher echelon of slasher films. The horrors of betrayal and racial stereotyping are prevalent throughout, but it is also the fearless breaking of taboo by showing violence toward children and animals that makes for an uneasy viewing experience. There’s enough gore to satisfy gorehounds, and enough subtle, psychological horror to appease cinemaphiles.