Artful horror

This sequel to the notorious 1992 horror flick wisely ignores the four previous sequels and positions itself as a direct follow-up to the original. It’s about a murderous, hook-armed supernatural entity that can be summoned by those who dare to say his name, “Candyman,” in a mirror five times. 

Normally I have little use for slasher flicks, but a few things about this one elevate it above the usual gore-fest. Director Nia Dacosta (Little Woods) takes a stylized, slow-burn approach to the material, and offers a fresh start for the tired slasher formula. Her camerawork, which naturally makes fine use of mirrors, is exquisite, and her eerie use of shadow puppets a stroke of genius.

Secondly, the producer and co-writer is Jordan Peele, known for such smart thrillers as Get Out and Us. Peele’s approach to horror films concentrates on inner dread rather than graphic violence, and he also manages to slip in a bit on (non-preachy) social commentary.

Oh, there’s a bit of gore, but mostly off-camera, and the Candyman is rarely seen, as the film concentrates on those who, usually for self-serving reasons, release the monster. (91 min)