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Candyman (2021) (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


Artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who lives in the gentrified Chicago neighborhood of Cabrini-Green with his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris), a gallery director, reawakens the Candyman when he decides to use all the details of the story in his artwork to maintain relevance in this sequel to the 1992 original.

The 1992 horror classic Candyman isn’t exactly rebooted here, but rather the story is picked up years later as a sequel that continues the story of the slasher known as the Candyman.

It is decades later, and the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood of Cabrini-Green is home to native Chicagoan artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend Teyonah Parris (Brianna Cartwright), an art gallery director. The couple live together in a high-end condo in the upscale neighborhood where Anthony spends his days trying to come up with some new, inspired artwork for a show at Brianna’s gallery. Desperate to maintain his relevance, Anthony begins to investigate the brutal details of Candyman and use them in his art and suddenly the Candyman killings begin to occur again even as he begins having his own visions of the killer.

Directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) who co-wrote the screenplay with Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, the film has been updated to consider contemporary urban concerns and the issues concerning the black community today, just as the original film confronted historical racism head on. This film, while it doesn’t shy away from the discussion, is a little more nuanced while being no less confrontational. It is a cerebral approach that has Jordan Peele’s horror style all over it, with nothing taken away from DaCosta who sails the ship brilliantly. It’s less shock, slasher horror than it is thriller/human horror, although by the time we reach the end of this drama, the visual effects become more and more gruesome.

This Candyman sequel, nearly thirty years after the original, feels like it is setting up a franchise. Hopefully there won’t be another thirty year gap before we see another entry.

The Video

Candyman was shot on the Arri Alexa LF with Arri Signature Prime lenses with some scenes shot on the Arri Alexa Mini with Fujinon Premier and Angenieux Optimo lenses at 3.4K and 4.5K resolution. It utilizes a 4K digital intermediate and is mastered with HDR10. It is framed at 2.39:1 with an HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) encodement that has a MaxLL of 1000 nits and a MaxFALL of 128 nits. Nothing really ‘pops’ in the relatively muted color palette, but overall, this is a clean and crisp looking transfer and the HDR10 does provide some good specular highlights in lamplight, the sheen on cars and metal pieces of clothing, or in the Chicago skyline at night.

The Audio

The English Dolby Atmos mix dazzles from the opening moments of this film. There is plenty of height awareness, lots of “voice of god” effects, and many times foley effects move overhead, such as in the mirrored elevator scene. But it’s not all in your face, solid effects, the atmospherics are wonderfully spread around as is the score from Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, and low end extends very deep into the range.

The Supplements

The bonus features are mostly brief, but they cover many aspects of the film, from the special effects to the cultural significance of Candyman. The 20-minute roundtable about the impact of black horror is a must watch, especially for those familiar with the documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Copy Code
  • Blu-ray with Feature Film & Bonus Features
  • Alternate Ending (4K; 00:02:38)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (4K; 00:05:52):
    • Who Do You Think Makes the Hood?
    • Wanna See Me Fly?
    • Fooked Oop
  • Say My Name (4K; 00:06:45)
  • Body Horror (4K; 00:06:22)
  • The Filmmaker’s Eye: Nia DaCosta (4K; 00:04:48)
  • Painting Chaos (4K; 00:07:17)
  • The Art of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (4K; 00:04:54)
  • Terror in the Shadows (4K; 00:04:09)
  • Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror (4K; 00:20:24

The Final Assessment

Cerebral horror that picks up the story of this dreaded inner-city slasher. Say his name. Universal gets this 4K disc right with excellent picture and sound. Recommended.

Candyman is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo November 16, 2021 from Universal

  • Rating Certificate: R (for bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references)
  • Studios & Distributors: Universal Pictures | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) | BRON Studios | Monkeypaw Productions | Creative Wealth Media Finance | Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE)
  • Director: Nia DaCosta
  • Written By: Jordan Peele (screenplay by) | Win Rosenfeld (screenplay by) | Nia DaCosta (screenplay by) | Bernard Rose (based on the 1992 motion picture entitled “Candyman” written by) | Clive Barker (based on the short story “The Forbidden” by)
  • Run Time: 91 Mins.
  • Street Date: 16 November 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR10
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: Spanish DD 5.1 | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | Spanish | French

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Artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who lives in the gentrified Chicago neighborhood of Cabrini-Green with his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris), a gallery director, reawakens the Candyman when he decides to use all the details of the story in his artwork to maintain relevance in this sequel to the 1992 original. Candyman (2021) (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)