The Writing on the Wall- Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh

This is stage two on my ill thought out Candyman trilogy, and already the writing is really on the wall for this series. Candyman 2 is one of the more staggeringly unnecessary and pointless cash in sequels, and it commits pretty much every cardinal sin of cashing in. I’ll go over this in more depth in a minute, but I just want to get across how utterly soulless, mundane, and mediocre this film is. While Farewell to the Flesh is not a terrible film (everything is very competent) it is, however, filmic beige: a completely uninspired effort. 

Funnily enough, it all starts fairly promisingly. The sleazy professor from the first movie opens the film giving a lecture on Helen and the Candyman. This is a storming idea- a nice way to recap and remind everyone of the pedigree of the film. He’s then harassed by a confused and clearly loopy young man, who blames the professor for his father’s death at the hands of everyone’s favourite hook handed sociopath. The professor is then messily slaughtered by the Candyman. The rest of the film is basically a shitty rehash of the worst idea of the first film, a couple of new ideas (all bad ones), a fucking origin story (Why? Seriously, why did anyone think this was a good idea?), a smug and anti-atmospheric voiceover, and a terrible CGI ending.

So far, so unpromising. However, I do have to say that (and this is really surprising), the acting in this sequel is absolutely top-notch. Kelly Rowan (despite complete lack of a Noo Awlins accent) is perfectly watchable as Annie, and Tony Todd is on fine menacing form as the Candyman, but the scene stealing goes to Veronica Cartwright as Annie’s mother, Octavia. How the fuck did this happen? She was great in Alien, good in The Witches of Eastwick and generally has a fine horror pedigree, and yet she’s lending a cash-in some much-needed credibility. It’s a shame, but still she does give an underwritten part her best effort.

The score (aside from the intensely annoying voice over from “The Kingfisher”) is a recreation of Glass’s effort from the first film, and as such is effective- even if it is uninspiring in this case. However, the narrative from the Kingfisher, which is clearly meant to immerse us in atmosphere as thick as Gumbo fluctuates between the laughable and the irritating, and his constant intrusions serve as little more than patronising book ends. Whoever decided on this device needs a good kicking, as Candyman films require atmosphere and this narration consistently yanked me out of the film.

Now here’s where we get to the problems with this film. Before I go any further, I’m going to address them in reverse order of irritation- (least irritating first).

Firstly- this is a film that absolutely shits all over the far-superior original (much like The Descent 2). I do understand that the natural home of a ghost as clearly rooted in slavery as the Candyman is the Deep South, but the transplant to New Orleans just doesn’t work, and worse than that it was specifically fucking stated in the first film that he was executed on Cabrini Green. What we have here is a ghost that loves his frequent flyer miles.

Secondly- the introduction of the magic mirror. Why do this? The legend was well established and worked effectively, so all of a sudden his power comes from some fucking mirror at the bottom of a mine, and therefore you can break it to break the spell. Just fuck off.

Thirdly, there are plot holes and “Eeeeeew” moments aplenty. It turns out, for reasons best known to the writers, that Annie is actually the Candyman’s great great granddaughter. Or some such pish. If that’s the case, then I suggest you don’t cast someone as lily-fucking-white as Kelly Rowan as Annie. Furthermore, considering he spends half the film trying to persuade her to marry him, it’s clear that his time dead has made him into a family fucking pervert. I know it is set in the deep south, but what the fuck?

Fourthly, fucking origin stories. Seriously, why? As is already pointed out, the legend was well established and well realised. Do we honestly need to see poor old Daniel Robitaille tortured to death for kicks on-screen? There’s only 2 rational explanations as to why this decision was made: the writers either want the audience to feel sympathy for The Candyman (in which case having him slaughter all and sundry with a hook is probably not the best way to go about it), or, and this is my guess, they flagrantly didn’t have enough material to make up the run time. Either way, it’s piss poor unnecessary claptrap.

Finally, and this is my big complaint, there is the driving force of the plot. The biggest mistake in the first film was to have Helen as some kind of spitting image of Candyman’s original love and therefore he was some sort of really persistent stalker. This was a mistake in the first film, as the actual motivation was already established and effective- it over-egged the pudding, but here this intergenerational love story is the driving force of the movie. Needless to say it just doesn’t work. There’ s no reason to believe in some kind of tragic fate for the Candyman, as he’s a ghost that kills people messily with a hook. He’s the embodiment of the power of legend, he isn’t sitting in a dark room listening to “Boys Don’t Cry” pining for his long lost love Annie. He’s a big, nasty villain, and this insistence on his emotional needs (the third film follows this path as well) just dilutes and lessens an otherwise iconic character.

Overall, it may come as a shock to find out that I don’t recommend Candyman 2. In fact, until reminded of it for this trilogy, I had completely forgotten it existed. It’s a lame cash-in that dilutes the original, commits several cardinal sins and for all its obvious competence manages to mildly irritate me.

Jarv’s Rating: 1 and a half Changs. Shouldn’t have happened and deserves to be forgotten.

Next up in this trilogy is the fucking abysmal concluding part.

Until then,

Jarv

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

40 responses to “The Writing on the Wall- Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh”

  1. just pillow talk says :

    Wow, the third is worst than this? It must be the acting is atrocious, which gives it the nod in utter shitness.

    Yet another group of horror movies I just have no interest in, even if the first is supposed to be good. I just can’t get jazzed over horror movies.

    • Jarv says :

      Watch the first one- it really is a superb film all round.

      The third one is relocated again- this time LA and stars a Baywatch actress that keeps her fucking top on

      Tony Todd hates the third one.

    • Jarv says :

      Also, I’ve made this sound worse than it actually is, because I made the mistake of watching it straight after the first one. If there’d been a big gap of time it probably wouldn’t have annoyed me as much.

  2. xiphos0311 says :

    I forgot Cohen’s mom from the OC was in this mess. That might be the only reason to rewatch this but probably not, this movie sucked the first time out, and I can’t imagine it gets any better on subsequent viewings.

    I disagree a bit about ghosts. For me setting them in some place like New England or Pennsylvania works better becasue of the houses and the land. Now if you want to add a Voodoo twist then yes I agree NawLins is perfect so is rural Mississippi and Louisiana.

    • Jarv says :

      I meant that the Candyman (slave who was executed/ lynched for shagging a white chick) was more suited to The south than Chicago.

      But yes, it doesn’t work here.

    • kloipy says :

      i live about 20 minutes from Gettysburg, which is currently in fights over building a casino a mile from the battlefield. Could be a good ghost story in the making. The Haunted Casino: Try your hand, Lose your life

      • Jarv says :

        “I raise you…. MY SOUL!!!”

      • kloipy says :

        Full House…OF HORROR

      • Droid says :

        Dealer wins… YOU LOSE!!!

      • kloipy says :

        What happens when all your ‘chips’ are down?!?!?!?!

      • Jarv says :

        “Just remember not to cash out”

        We’re wasted really.

      • Droid says :

        The killer would have to be called BLACKJACK.

      • kloipy says :

        and at somepoint Blackjack would have to say “Aces….WILD!” then go fucking crazy

      • kloipy says :

        they would have to come upon a corpse with his eyes replaced by dice… and of course you know what is next.

        “SNAKE EYES!!!”

      • koutchboom says :

        When he’s got a bad guy up against a wall asking for information the bad says: “GO FISH!”

      • Tom_Bando says :

        They should have had the Big Chicken from Chambersburg come alive and EAT the Candyman, sounds to me. George and Nick’s house of Chicken. Yes indeedie Chambersburg was never the same since after that place burned down. The owner took the big Chicken and stuck it on his porch for safe keeping. And it’d blow your mind, cuz you go walking into the house and up the porch and thru the door, and that chicken’s staring at ya right thru the front window!

        PA is fun.

      • kloipy says :

        you know about Chambersburg Bando? that whole place is like a black hole

      • Tom_Bando says :

        Kloipy–sadly YES I do know about Chambersburg. Been there. Plus my last job involved knowing WAY too much geographically about the States that was good for ya. Chambersburg people were Proud of that big Chicken. It was their local landmark.

        “How do I find the Hardee’s in Chambersburg if I come down the interstate from Carlisle-?”

        “You know where the Big Chicken is-? Just find the Big Chicken, take a left and we’re a half mile down 30 headed to Gettysburg. You. Can’t. Miss. It.”

        From what I remember, they’re REAL proud of their Kroger’s down in that neck of the woods too….

      • kloipy says :

        Bando, that’s hilarious as it’s such a small place in PA. I’m actually from Carlisle, which is in and of itself a small little nowhere. If it weren’t for Dickenson College or the Car Show, it would be nothing more than a blip on the map

  3. kloipy says :

    “Four score and seven fears ago!”

  4. kloipy says :

    it would have to end with Blackjack inside the casino as the hero’s are running in slow motion away from the soon to be exploding building, in the last second before impact we close in on Blackjack’s face

    “Oh craps”

    BOOM

  5. Joachim Boaz says :

    So strange that Bill Condon’s the director — his next film was the seldom seen masterpiece ‘Gods and Monsters’ — I guess he had to get his start somewhere.

  6. ThereWolf says :

    “Filmic beige…” – I love that.

    I didn’t go anywhere near this (or C3). I was tempted but something told me if I did, my memory of the original would be soiled.

    Cheers, Jarv.

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