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Candyman

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    95
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Candyman: a horror masterpiece with a lasting impact, now in stunning 4K.

    Candyman 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    94
  • Candyman's 4K UHD release showcases meticulous restoration, enhanced detail, and vivid colors, offering a subtle yet appreciable upgrade over its Blu-ray counterpart.

  • Audio
    93
  • The Candyman's 4K remaster boasts a stunning Dolby Atmos track, enhancing immersion with Tony Todd's resonant voice, Philip Glass' score, and detailed ambient sounds for a truly atmospheric and absorbing audio experience.

  • Extra
    95
  • Candyman Collector's Edition offers an in-depth exploration with commentaries, interviews, and featurettes, capturing the essence of horror and filmmaking through diverse perspectives.

  • Movie
    94
  • Candyman, a haunting blend of horror, race, and urban legends, is a cinematic masterpiece that elevates Clive Barker's work through compelling storytelling and strong performances.

    Video: 94

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Candyman" presents a remarkable upgrade from its 2018 Blu-ray counterpart, offering a masterclass in visual restoration and enhancement. This version, preserved in a 3840 x 2160p resolution with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, benefits profoundly from the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), providing a vividly rich and detailed image quality. Supervised and approved by writer-director Bernard Rose and director of photography Anthony B. Richmond, the transfer keeps the film's original cinematic essence intact while catapulting it into the visual fidelity of contemporary standards. Enhanced textures and refined details are noticeable across various elements, from the urban decay of Cabrini-Green to the intricate patterns of 90s clothing, showcasing an appreciable depth and clarity that exceeds previous releases.

    The Dolby Vision HDR grading elevates the visual experience further, by intensifying the contrast and brightness without compromising the film’s moody atmosphere. The restoration work beautifully accentuates colors, with reds and blues particularly benefiting, making the cinematic palette more dynamic while maintaining natural skin tones and ensuring blacks are deep and pure. This balance achieves an impressively immersive viewing experience, especially in scenes that juggle shadow and light intricately, allowing characters like Tony Todd's Candyman to menacingly weave in and out of darkness. Moreover, despite minor wear in select sequences, the overall presentation remains pristine, with the grain structure respecting the film's original texture.

    Significantly, even the Unrated Cut’s brief additional footage integrates smoothly without detracting from the visual coherence, thanks to careful refinement and attention to detail during the restoration process. Details across settings and characters reveal an added layer of immersion, contributing to a superior sense of scale and depth. The overall color timing appears somewhat darker compared to the 2018 release, yet this adjustment enhances rather than diminishes, contributing to a more rounded and visually arresting experience.

    Audio: 93

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Candyman" brings an auditory experience that is nothing short of exceptional, thanks to the inclusion of a new Dolby Atmos surround track. This audio upgrade elevates the soundscape to unprecedented heights, allowing for an immersion that was once unattainable. Tony Todd's iconic voice, perpetuated through this mix, is both omnipresent and resounding, exhibiting a magnetic quality that enhances every scene. The richness of Philip Glass' score, notably the organ and chorus in the opening credits, envelops the listener in a deep, organic auditory experience that spans the entirety of the soundstage. This Atmos track successfully balances clarity and depth, with overhead channels adding a tangible sense of 3D depth to the film's climactic scenes, as well as to everyday ambient sounds such as street noise and restaurant ambiance.

    The sound design of "Candyman" is meticulously cared for, with dialogues ranging from soft whispers to the powerful reverberations of Candyman's voice, which fills the soundscape with an eerie echo. The Atmos track shines in its ability to give life to the environment, making crowd movements, insect buzzing, and room tones feel circular and engrossing. Furthermore, this track impresses with its handling of low-end frequencies, providing rumbly pressure points that complement the film’s storytelling. The use of surround and height channels broadens the ambient activity, especially notable in scenes set in housing projects, where the ambient sounds extend into these channels, creating a fuller auditory experience.

    In practical terms, the remastering efforts have stretched the soundstage in a way that respects and enhances the original mix, offering an experience that feels both natural and heightened. Small details are meticulously placed across channels, ensuring sounds like doors closing and ambient echoes accurately mirror their on-screen sources. Tony Todd’s voice benefits from a slight bass enhancement that adds to its reverberation across the soundscape. The combination of precise dialogue reproduction, impactful use of the subwoofer for low-end effects, and a dynamic layering of sound effects creates a spooky yet engaging experience. It’s clear that for those with Dolby Atmos setups, this mix provides a superior listening experience, making the 4K UHD Blu-ray of "Candyman" a must-have for audiophiles and fans alike.

    Extra: 95

    The "Candyman" Collector’s Edition 4K UHD Blu-ray set, spanning three discs, offers a compelling array of extras that cater to both new fans and those revisiting this horror classic. With the inclusion of both theatrical and unrated cuts, the UHD disc exclusively boasts two engaging audio commentaries featuring combinations of writer/director Bernard Rose, actor Tony Todd, and film historians Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. Additional content, such as a fresh interview with Vanessa Williams reflecting on her role and another insightful conversation with authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes examining the film’s cultural impact, enrich the understanding of "Candyman's" legacy. Technical aspects of filmmaking are explored through various interviews covering production design, makeup effects, and Clive Barker's source story. This set beautifully bridges the original cinematic experience with contemporary perspectives, making it an essential collection for enthusiasts keen to delve deeper into the "Candyman" phenomenon.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary with Bernard Rose and Tony Todd: Engaging dialogue between the director and star.
    • Audio Commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman: Insightful perspectives from film historians.
    • Be My Victim: Interview with Tony Todd discussing his character.
    • It Was Always You, Helen: Virginia Madsen talks about her experiences on set.
    • Urban Legend: Unwrapping 'Candyman': Analysis by authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes.
    • Forbidden Flesh: The Makeup FX of 'Candyman': Insight into the special effects techniques used.
    • Looking Back in the Mirror: Vanessa Williams reflects on her involvement.
    • Reflections in the Mirror: Kasi Lemmons shares her experiences during filming.
    • A Kid in Candyman: DeJuan Guy recounts his audition process and filming.
    • A Story to Tell: Clive Barker's 'The Forbidden': Douglas E. Winter discusses the source story.
    • The Writing on the Wall: An interview with production designer Jane Ann Stewart.
    • Sweets to the Sweet: The 'Candyman' Mythos: A making-of featurette.
    • Clive Barker: Raising Hell: Clive Barker talks about his inspirations.
    • The Heart of 'Candyman': An interview with Tony Todd.
    • Bernard Rose Storyboards: Showcasing original storyboards by Bernard Rose.
    • TV Spots: Commercials for Candyman.
    • Still Gallery: Collection of poster art, lobby card, film stills, and BTS snaps.
    • Original Script: Available via BD-ROM.
    • Theatrical Trailer: High definition, widescreen version of the film's trailer.

    Movie: 94

    "Candyman" (1992) 4K UHD Review

    Based on Clive Barker's short story, "The Forbidden," "Candyman" redefined the horror genre in the early '90s, standing out as a masterful blend of gothic horror, urban legend, and social commentary. The film is brought to life through the lens of director Bernard Rose, who skillfully adapts Barker's narrative, transferring the setting to the Cabrini-Green housing projects of Chicago. This relocation isn’t merely geographical but is also deeply thematic, swapping class for race and infusing the story with a palpable sense of degradation and sorrow. The visceral storyline follows Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), a graduate student whose thesis on urban legends leads her into the terrifying realm of the Candyman (Tony Todd), a spectral figure of slavery's brutal legacy armed with a hook for a hand. Helen’s academic curiosity unwittingly frees this dark spirit, leading to a series of haunting encounters.

    The film's strength lies not only in its chilling narrative but also in the performances, especially Virginia Madsen's hypnotic portrayal of Helen and Tony Todd's iconic role as Candyman, whose deep, ominous voice and presence elevate the character to a legendary status within horror folklore. The social and racial issues at its core are presented with a nuanced subtlety, making the Candyman a symbol of historical injustices, his backstory adding layers to a character that might have otherwise been a mere slasher stereotype. This is complemented by Philip Glass's hauntingly beautiful score that intertwines with the film's visuals to create an unnerving atmosphere that lingers long after the screen goes dark.

    "Candyman" does more than just scare; it challenges viewers by delving into themes of inequality and privilege through its thoughtful narrative and complex characters. The film's methodical pacing allows its tension and dread to build naturally, making its climax all the more impactful. Candyman himself is not just a killer but an entity borne out of collective fear and historical trauma, making him a unique figure in the horror genre. This film stands as a testament to the potential of horror to not only terrify but also provoke thought about the real-world horrors it mirrors. The 4K UHD presentation enhances every aspect, from the richness of its settings to the clarity of its darker moments, ensuring that "Candyman" remains an unparalleled experience in horror cinema.

    Total: 95

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "Candyman," both to the eyes and ears, offers an improved, albeit subtly, viewing experience over its Blu-ray counterpart. Arrow's release sees the film bathed in an enhanced color spectrum, courtesy of HDR's Dolby Vision, which injects a vibrant yet natural color enhancement into every frame. The aspect of depth, alongside a more profound black level and enhanced white scale, amplifies the visuals without encroaching on the intent of the original cinematography. Sonically, the inclusion of a new Dolby Atmos track opens up a previously unexplored soundscape; the depth layer added here particularly enriches Philip Glass’s haunting score and Tony Todd's iconic voice, bringing a more immersively ominous atmosphere to the viewing space. Having both cuts of the film on a single disc provides convenience and continuity, capitalizing on an already extensive package of extras—though it's noted that the Scream Factory edition lacks certain features found in Arrow Video’s UK release, such as Bernard Rose’s short films and interviews with Clive Barker.

    Performance-wise, Tony Todd's rendition of Candyman merges menace with melancholy in a portrayal that remains as captivating today as it was upon release. His chemistry with Virginia Madsen elevates the film beyond standard slasher fare, infusing it with a degree of emotional depth rare in the genre. Despite some narrative unevenness towards its climax, "Candyman" remains a tentpole of horror cinema; its innovative use of special effects and Philip Glass's score only compound its standing.

    In conclusion, this 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Candyman" is indispensable for collectors and fans alike. With its visually stunning upgrade and audibly richer sound profile, it breathes new life into Bernard Rose's adaptation of Clive Barker's story. While it may not present a radical departure from previous releases in terms of content, the enhancements it does offer make it a worthy addition to any horror aficionado's library. Its combination of superior technical quality, standout performances, and significant cultural impact ensures "Candyman" remains not only a high point for 90s horror but a landmark film within the genre.