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Candyman (Special Edition) (1992)

Virginia Madsen , Xander Berkeley , Bernard Rose  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams
  • Directors: Bernard Rose
  • Writers: Bernard Rose, Clive Barker
  • Producers: Alan Poul, Clive Barker, Gregory Goodman, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Steve Golin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002C4JJ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Candyman (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Sweets to the Sweet: The Candyman Mythos" featurette
  • "Clive Barker: Raising Hell" featurette
  • Bernard Rose storyboard comparisons

Editorial Reviews

A children's ghost story comes to terrifying life in this gut-wrenching thriller about a graduate student whose research into modern folklore summons the spirit of the dead. Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) laughs when she interviews college freshmen about their superstitions. But when she hears about Candyman, a slave spirit with a hook hand who is said to haunt Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, she thinks she has a new twist for this thesis. Braving the gang-ridden territory to visit the site of a brutal murder, Helen arrogantly assumes Candyman can't really exist... until he appears, igniting a string of terrifying, tragic slayings. But the police don't believe in monsters, and they charge Helen with the grisly crimes. Only one person can set her free: CANDYMAN.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Clive Barker's Candyman was one of the finest horror films I have ever seen and one of my personal favorites. Writer-director Bernard Rose does an excellent job of adapting a Barker story into a masterpiece film that not only provides chills and scares, but also many issues of racism and vengeance.
The movie begins with a student telling Helen Lyle, played by the beautiful and extremely talented Virginia Madsen, an urban legend about Candyman. You have to say his name five times in the mirror and he'll appear and split you from the groin up. Helen is writing a thesis on urban legends and is particularly interested in Candyman because of how so many people believe in it. She and her friend, Bernadette, decide to go investigate an apartment complex that was the site of murders that Candyman could be responsible for. That's when a series of murders begin to occur and Helen must try to figure out what's actually going on.
Candyman is a rare movie in the nineties that mixes style with ideas. One of the film's most disturbing scenes is when Virginia Madsen is drenched in blood, and is forced to strip her clothes off in front of a police officer. Subtle scenes like that are harder to take than senseless bloody murders in slasher flicks. The acting in this film is also very noteworthy. Madsen's performance is one of the best I've ever seen in a horror film, easily rivaling Ellen Burstyn from The Exorcist. She begins the film as a non-believer, but is converted when she becomes the target of Candyman. By the final third of the film she must decide whether Candyman is real or if she is going insane. Madsen is convincing through all these changes, and she certainly deserves more roles in films these days. Tony Todd also delivers a fine performance as Candyman.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Eventually, anyone who makes it their business to seek out quality horror movies is going to come to the conclusion that the ones that succeed in distinguishing themselves from the pack tend to fall into three distinct categories. First, you have the horror movies that are less interested in scaring you than they are seriously exploring their subject matter, and probing into the nature of evil. Sometimes, they go the supernatural route (The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, Don't Look Now). Sometimes, they stay grounded (Psycho, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Se7en). Either way, they are more disturbing than they are immediately frightening. You acknowledge that what you've seen has struck a kind of nerve, but you won't lose much sleep. These movies are intellectually compelling but they do not provoke any immediate sense of terror.

On the other hand, the second breed of quality horror movies has no interest in psychology, in the "nature" of their content, and do not attempt to intellectually engage you. They only want to make you feel as if you are in immediate danger. The movies that fall into this category (Halloween, Alien) do not provide food for thought, but they know how to make you uncomfortable, and they know how to push your buttons. They are manipulative in the extreme, but they are actively frightening, and provide visceral experiences that the previous category of horror films cannot.

Finally, the third category of superlative horror films distinguish themselves by remaining conscious of themselves. They want to frighten you, but they also want to convince you that they are "above" merely pushing your buttons. At the same time, they don't want to go the intellectual route either.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best horror film of the 90s. August 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Scream comes close, but the comedy element of that film seems to fit in another genre, horror-comedy maybe. Candyman, on the other hand, is TRUE horror yet belongs in a category all it's own. Besides being downright scary as hell, it's an excellent FILM. Everything from the sound to story pacing is tight and extremely effective, and I have to agree with what someone else here said: Philip Glass' score is so subtle and creepy, it's PERFECT. I can't understand people who don't see the pure beauty of this movie. If you like horror like I do, you should really see this film, maybe even more than once. I saw Candyman in the theater back in '92 and I walked out shaken and completely freaked out. I couldn't look into a mirror for a few days. The only other horror films that have had that effect on me were Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Even though of course I'm not as scared when I watch it now, I can appreciate the skill in which it was crafted and still be swept up in the fantasy this movie creates. Then again, if you're into crap like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, The Faculty, and other trash-horror, you may not appreciate something of this caliber. As for anyone else, it's really is worth checking out.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked psychological thriller June 6, 2004
Format:DVD
Candyman starts out pedestrian enough. Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is a graduate student attempting to wow her instructor while dealing with her cheating professor husband. Helen chooses the local urban legend Candyman to blow her teacher away. Being the detailed and dedicated researcher, she investigates the area where most of Candyman's victims are found; the Cabrini Green housing project. Helen and her fellow student interview residents of the rundown apartment complex, explore an abandoned apartment that has been transformed into a shrine to the title character, and form an unusual bond with a young, struggling mother (Vanessa Williams).
All proceeds as one would expect until a murderer using the Candyman legend as a cover is caught by the police. Helen comforts a boy by telling him that the Candyman is not the boogeyman, just a bad man trying to scare and cause harm. This is the turning point of the movie.
By destroying the boy's belief in Candyman, Helen invites the entity who describes his state as "to be but not to exist". Candyman is because others believe in him. Helen has destroyed this so he must now revive his legend and resuscitate belief in him. Helen encounters him in a parking garage where he commands her to "be my victim". The next thing she knows, she is lying in the young mother's apartment next to her dead dog with a bloody knife in her hand.
From this point Helen descends into madness with murders and a kidnapping surrounding her while her husband's cheating ways are revealed. Eventually Candyman asks Helen to join her in the non-existence of legend. To save a child, Helen agrees and sacrifices her life so the child might live. The worst thing about the movie is a rather cheesy ending that confirms Helen's entry into Urban Legend-hood.
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