Nia DaCosta shares a haunting alternate trailer for Candyman

The animated prequel explores the underlying themes of the new Jordan Peele production.

by Jenna Mahale
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Jun 18 2020, 10:55am

Director Nia DaCosta treated us all to some unseasonal Tim Burton vibes yesterday when she dropped a shadow puppet animation of Candyman’s origin story. Her reboot of the 1992 slasher classic, co-written with nouveau horror savant Jordan Peele, is just a few months off release now, having had its June premiere date pushed to 25 September instead. (Cheers, Miss Rona!)

Despite there already being three Candyman movies in the popular social thriller franchise, Nia DaCosta will be the first Black person to helm one. And she’s certainly not shying away from the themes of modern and historical racism that inspired the original story, set in the Cabrini-Green housing projects.

“I always loved horror when I was younger, I just loved all creepy films,” said Nia in a Vulture interview last year. “ Candyman was one of those movies that scared the shit out of me. I remember it aligning so well with me being in middle school.”

She went on to detail how her appreciation for the film has evolved over time: “Today, I understand that it’s special because it has a black antagonist in a very white space, which is problematic, but at the time I was like, ‘Oh cool, we have black dudes, it’s terrifying. Virginia Madsen, and what, bees? Honey? What’s happening?’ It was very much of that.”

The short video contains four vignettes of racialised violence, some based on true events, such as the lynching of James Byrd Jr. in 1998, and the 1944 execution of 14-year-old George Stinney Jr., the youngest victim of the electric chair.

On Twitter, Nia shared the clip with a brief explanation of the film’s significance: “[Candyman exists] at the intersection of white violence and black pain,” she wrote, adding that the story “is about unwilling martyrs. The people they were, the symbols we turn them into, the monsters we are told they must have been.”

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