Movie Review: Candyman (1992)

Time for some more spookums for the Month of Spooks. So let’s stop standing around and get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Candyman”.

Grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is working on a thesis about a local spooky legend known as the Candyman (Tony Todd). And as she investigates this legend, she soon comes face-to-face with the titular myth. So now we have a psychological thriller/procedural. And I’m gonna be frank with you guys, I really liked the story told here. For something that can be technically considered a slasher, there’s a surprising amount of nuance to the story, putting doubt in your mind about certain story elements, making the viewer feel uneasy about the things going on. Despite a relatively short runtime, it took its time to tell this chilling and surprisingly nuanced narrative. That’s not to say that there aren’t thrills, ’cause there are. But the story here isn’t just some thinly veiled excuse for gory slicing and dicing a la Jason Voorhees. The story here has an actual purpose, and I was pleasantly surprised by it.

The characters in this are, like the story, surprisingly nuanced and engaging. Virginia Madsen plays Helen, the grad student investigating the local legend. She’s a bit of a skeptic, so when she starts coming face-to-face with some of the strange things she doesn’t fully believe in, she starts going through a bit of a fascinating arc. And Madsen is fantastic in the role. Next we have Tony Todd as the titular legend. I won’t go into too much detail in case you haven’t seen it but want to. But let’s just say that he’s one of the more intriguing horror antagonists out there. And Todd is great in the role (and what a cool voice he has!). We also get supporting work from people like Xavier Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, DeJuan Guy, Vanessa Williams, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for “Candyman” was composed by Philip Glass, and I think it’s pretty spectacular. Sure, the opening track has some minor things that I’m not a huge fan of. But other than that, this score is wonderful. It’s eerie, yet mournful. Haunting, yet sad. Like with the things we talked about earlier, there’s a surprising amount of nuance to it, and especially with the main theme, which is one of the most stunning that I’ve ever heard.

Loosely based on a short story by Clive Barker, the movie was written and directed by Bernard Rose. And I think he did a great job with it. Yes, there are jump scares, and yes there is gore. But he still has a direction that generally relies more on a subtle creep-factor rather than constant thrills, which adds to the overall experience. There’s even a lot of fun camerawork throughout, which helps add a bit of extra energy to proceedings, and not just have it be a slightly boring, static shot of something happening.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

I was pleasantly surprised by “Candyman”, it’s a surprisingly nuanced little horror movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *AHEM*. My final score for “Candyman” is a 9,78/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Candyman” is now completed.

Wait, how many times did I say his name in this review? 1, 2, 3, 4, fuck.

Movie Review: The Truman Show (1998)

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Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s… “The Truman Show”!

Insurance salesman Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) lives a pretty normal life with his wife Meryl (Laura Linney). But he soon discovers something very odd about himself and the world around him. And that odd thing is that his entire life is one big television show, running 24/7, thanks to the mysterious Christof (Ed Harris). And from that we get one of the most original plots every put to film. Sure, these days we have seen several different versions of the very same plot. Hell, even “Codename: Kids Next Door” did a parody of it. But back in 1998, this was some pretty revolutionary shit. But the twists and turns throughout are clever, and the ways that Truman puzzles all of this together is really engaging and interesting. It’s a pretty philosophical story too if you think about it, which makes it so much more interesting and great.

The characters in the movie are all very interesting and have a whole bunch of layers to them. Jim Carrey is honestly fantastic as the character of Truman. This is probably the best performance I have ever seen from him (Sidenote: As of the writing of this review, I have not yet seen “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, which people tend to call Carrey’s best movie). I honestly think he was the perfect pick for this movie, since he’s such a likable actor, playing someone who never chose to be the subject of this show. Laura Linney as his “wife” is great in her role. Noah Emmerich plays Truman’s best friend, Marlon, and he’s really good in the movie. And then we have Ed Harris as the ever watching Christof… and he’s great. Nothing else to say really, he’s Ed fucking Harris, he’s always great. Everybody’s great!

The score for “The Truman Show” was composed by Burkhard Dallwitz, with some help from Philip Glass. And let me tell ya… it’s some good stuff. It’s a mix of dramatic, whimsical, and surprisingly tense tracks. All of them perfectly fitting the scenes they were meant for. Often the tracks elevated the scenes they were used in to perfection.

This movie was directed by Peter Weir, a director who I haven’t really seen much from. The one movie of his I had seen prior to this was “Fearless”, and I loved that one a lot. But I gotta say that “Truman Show” is a very well directed movie. And the writing by Andrew Niccol was really good too. This movie isn’t a straight-up comedy, there’s a lot of dramatic stuff in it. But it is also a movie with plenty of funny moments, and a lot of feelgood stuff too, with a pinch of sad moments thrown in there. What I’m trying to say is that the writing gives us a bit of everything in regards to emotion.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 90/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #209 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting actor (Harris), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

“The Truman Show” was quite the awesome movie. It has an original and awesome story, really good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. AAAAAHHHHH! My final score for “The Truman Show” is a 9,90/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Truman Show” is now completed.

Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!