1992 Original

Isaiah Prophet, Reporter

The Main Character: The leading lady of this 1992 horror classic is Helen Lyle played by Virginia Madsen, a college student doing an investigation on urban legends which eventually leads her to the story of Candy Man. After going around the rundown Cabrini Green neighborhood, she eventually finds what she is looking for:Candy Man. Unlike Anthony, who we see succumbed to the madness of the legend but never is directly blamed, Helen is forced to become a victim in her own sense as more and more murders occur. 


Setting: This film takes place before the gentrification that occurs in the present day film, so this movie goes through great lengths to express how run-down the community is. The community itself serves as a key piece of the plot, and much of what Helen finds is tied back to it in one way or another, such as the haunting graffiti in neighborhood that depicts Candy Man. The people in the neighborhood also stand as monuments to the heart of Cabrini Green and their use of Candy Man to cope with everyday troubles. 


Plot: Unlike the remake, the original movie is more on trend with other horror movies of its era. What sets it apart from the rest of its crowd is its ability to maintain a sense of mystery and suspense throughout the film, giving this movie sustenance unlike other horror films during this time. As Helen uncovers more and more about Candy Man, we see a shift in her character, something that is also present in the remake, despite that her transformation is less literal. All of these events are pieced together in the final act where the true motive of Candy Man is revealed.


Final Thoughts: After watching the 2021 remake first and then viewing the original film, I was able to see how so many elements, such as the slow suspense build up, and feeling of mystery from the original carried on into the remake. Watching both gave me a complete storyline and lore that I really enjoyed getting into. While this movie is definitely dated film wise, I was surprised how even after 30 years since this film was released, I was left shocked by some of the more gruesome scenes. Overall, I give the 1992 film  an eight out of ten for its traditional use of horror tactics and feelings of suspense.