Candyman - Say My Name - article
“Say My Name” Featurette
Candyman (2021) is a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the 1992 horror movie of the same name. With director Nia DaCosta (director of Marvel Studios’ upcoming The Marvels) at the helm and Jordan Peele (auteur behind the Academy Award ® winning Get Out and this summer’s highly anticipated Nope) producing, the urban legend was brought back to life in both a bloody and sophisticated fashion. Just like its predecessor did exactly 30-years ago, Candyman (2021) tackles themes of race and inequality in the country today.
Candyman, himself, was created as a myth to represent the Black experience in America. He is, without a doubt, a reminder of the racial injustices that have occurred throughout history. In fact, some of the same themes that 1992’s Candyman dealt with are still present in contemporary society. If you’re looking to find out more about why Candyman was summoned back to theaters in 2021, be sure to check out “Say My Name” - one of the many exclusives that can be found in our Candyman (2021) "Featurettes" section.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding the initial release of Candyman (2021), and for good reason too. The boogeyman with a hook for a hand became an icon of the horror genre back in 1992, so his return decades later was highly anticipated amongst audiences around the world. However, unlike other characters in horror movies, Candyman was never really recognized as a ‘killer’ or a ‘slasher.’ Rather, what sets Candyman apart from the rest is that he is a figure that makes people reflect on society today. In other words, Candyman isn’t a masked murderer who kills out of pleasure. No. There is meaning and purpose behind the mythos of the infamous urban legend.
Just as Teyonah Parris (“Brianna Cartwright”) says, “Our Candyman puts up a mirror to issues we talk about in the Black community. But it’s like a funhouse mirror…Take a look at it and see what you see.” From this analogical lens, you can see that the Candyman (2021) cast and crew set out to tell a story that was grounded in reality but could also be perceived in many different ways depending on your perception of the situations at hand. According to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Anthony McCoy”), many of his character’s struggles stem from his study of “police brutality, historical trauma, victimhood, oppression” that have persisted throughout America for so long. As you’ll see while watching the movie, Anthony copes with these matters by translating them into his painting, “Say My Name.”
In this behind-the-scenes look, you’ll find that the funhouse mirror that Teyonah Parris spoke about could actually be likened to the “Say My Name” painting. Just like any work of art, the meaning behind the composition is made to be entirely subjective. In Anthony McCoy’s case, his piece’s story about inequality is left up to the imagination of the audience. People, therefore, can create their own unique interpretations of what McCoy is trying to relay about the United States today. On a much larger scale, “Say My Name” is also symbolic of what Candyman (2021) stands for in general.
This movie is a work of art itself. The screen is Nia DaCosta’s canvas, and she paints a motion picture that tells a layered and nuanced story. Again, this is not your average horror movie, even though some may interpret it as such. However, if you just take a closer look, you’ll uncover the subtle meanings behind every single line of dialogue and every individual frame that was shot.
For example, even though it is the title of the movie, the name 'Candyman' holds so much weight in the issues that are discussed. One of the biggest and most consequential concepts that is explored in the film is martyrization. ‘Candyman’ is not a single person. Rather, it is a whole hive of people throughout time who have adopted the mantle for themselves. Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Teyonah Parris all speak about this in their respective interviews. The cast and crew all unanimously agree about the importance of remembering the actual names of the victims lost to racial inequality. Daniel Robitaille was the original Candyman, but many people only know him by his urban legend status. People remember that he had his hand cut off and was murdered by an angry mob, but they never seem to remember the name of the man himself. He and others like him are referred to only as ‘Candyman,’ and are defined by fear and tragedy.
Harkening back to Anthony McCoy’s painting, “Say My Name,” the title isn’t imploring you to say Candyman out loud; rather, it is begging you to say the name of the victims behind the hooked man. The same can be said for all that is happening in the world today. People must continue to acknowledge and remember the individuals who have lost their lives to police brutality and oppression. It’s names like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and others that hold the most power. By saying them, we remember them and will never forget them.
Say his name. Say her name. Say their names.
If you want to continue learning more about the making of Candyman (2021), be sure to watch exclusives like this one when you buy the movie on 4k Ultra HD, DVD, Digital, or Blu-rayTM*.
*Bonus features are only available at select digital retailers. Check the retailer for details.
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