While the rights for “Candyman” are currently tied up, Scream Factory instead offers fans up the chance to watch the brutally boring sequel by Bill Condon. “Farewell to the Flesh” features more of the tragic hooked horror character, who is a combination of Freddy Krueger and Beetlejuice. Once a slave who was lynched for having an affair with a white woman, he emerges for vengeance every time someone mutters his name five times in a mirror.
A direct sequel to the first film, a local author (who is a skeptic of Candyman’s—we know how that turns out) is murdered by Candyman in a bar bathroom, and his attacker, Ethan Tennant, the son of a candyman victim is blamed. His sister Annie Tarrant is a normal school teacher in New Orleans who is insistent that he didn’t commit the murder, but Ethan is intent on taking the wrap for Candyman. Convinced otherwise, she begins investigating, despite his objections, and unfolds a humongous mystery that I wish were interesting. For some reason, more of the origins of Candyman are revealed, as he’s given a tragic bent, as well as a reason for being channeled from the mirror realm he belongs to. You assume he’d only really terrorize the people that evoked him from his slumber (I assume it’s a slumber) but surely enough he just needs to be called. By anyone. At any time. Even playfully.
The Cenobites needed a puzzle solved. Demons needed a book to be read. Deadites needed an incantation. But you could be in a mall on Christmas Eve, spout his name five times, and surely enough he’ll come to wreak unholy hell on your ass. There’s just something that demystifies the character in that he can come around to kill you at a moment’s notice. And surely enough despite being warned about the Candyman, and knowing about the mysterious hook based murders, Annie begins putting herself in danger. She finds alters to the Candyman, she enters in to dark deserted mansions, and all for the sake of a hunch. Even when it becomes apparent that the Candyman is a reality, Kelly Rowan’s performance is fine, but the rest of the movie drags with a sluggish pacing that completely removes any mystery that the writer attempts to invoke.
Granted Tony Todd’s performance is fantastic as always, but rather than uncover Annie’s past, I just wanted the movie to get to the damn point, and figure out what Candyman wanted with her and her mother (Veronica Cartwright). The Blu-Ray from Scream! Factory features Audio Commentary by Director Bill Condon. He discusses his style of filmmaking and the score from Philip Glass. “The Candyman Legacy with Tony Todd” is a twenty five minute documentary with the Candyman himself, who explores his career, his various roles, and the Candyman films with much admirable enthusiasm. Finally, “Down Memory Lane with Veronica Cartwright” is a ten minute interview in the vein of the previous feature, as Ms. Cartwright discusses her past, her childhood roles, and her role in “Farewell to the Flesh.”