Coleman Tarrant, the father of New Orleans schoolteacher Annie Tarrant, is murdered while investigating the deaths of three men in a manner similar to the Candyman legend. One year later — and three years after the Candyman murders in Chicago — Professor Philip Purcell writes a book about the latter case. Candyman kills Purcell in a public bathroom following a book signing. Annie's brother, Ethan, is accused of Purcell's murder because of previous confrontations between the two over the subject. After one of Annie's students claims to have seen the Candyman, she tries to discredit the legend by invoking his name. Annie summons Candyman to New Orleans on the eve of Mardi Gras, where the killings begin in earnest.
This film has examples of:
- Asshole Victim: Detective Levesque, who seems to be more interested in nailing a perp from the elite crowd than actually finding the real killer. Ties in with Tempting Fate, since he forced Ethan's face against the reflective interrogation mirror as he did the "Candyman" chant as a means of breaking him.
- Berserk Button: When Candyman kills you it's either because you summoned him, got in the way of him trying to kill his summoner, or know how to stop him. However, if you happen to be related to him and bitterly deny his relation to you, he'll brutalize you. Octavia learned that the hard way.
- Calling the Old Man Out: After Annie discovers the truth of her family's relation to Daniel Robitaille, she confronts Octavia for lying and hiding the truth all these years, and how it led to the death of Annie's father, who died trying to find a way to stop Candyman.Annie: You lied to us from the beginning. I've seen the birth certificate. I've been to the cemetery.
Octavia: No, it-it's not true...
Annie: It's true. Caroline bought the house because that's where he was born.
Annie: She raised their daughter in that house, your grandmother.
Annie: She was raised a white girl, and no one suspected the truth. But Daddy did. So Daddy started digging...
Octavia: Oh, your father—!
Annie: My father was trying to stop him! But you just kept on lying...
Octavia: I did it to protect you! Oh Annie, y-you just wait until you have children of your own, you'll understand!
Annie: I'll never lie to my child.
Octavia: Your father was trying to destroy everything that we had by linking our name with that monster!
Annie: So you destroyed it, instead… by denying the truth.
Octavia: I AM NOT A PART OF HIM!
Annie: WE'RE HIS FAMILY!
Annie: WE'RE HIS BLOOD!
Octavia: I will not have you talk like that in this house!
Annie: YOU CAN'T WASH HIM AWAY WITH A BOTTLE!!!
- Continuity Snarl: Purcell's exposition in the first movie stated that Candyman died at Cabrini Green, in Chicago. The sequel then establishes that he really lived and died in New Orleans. The fourth film fixes that problem by revealing that technically someone who BECAME a Candyman did die in Cabrini Green, just not the original.
- Destination Defenestration: Candyman throws Detective Levesque out of the interrogation room window. Unfortunately for him, the window was really high up.
- Greek Chorus: Kingfish, a local radio DJ, provides running commentary on the events of the film.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Levesque is so determined to blame Ethan and Annie for the murders he decides to taunt Ethan by saying "Candyman" five times with Ethan in the room. Candyman guts him in seconds.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The events of the film take place during Mardi Gras.
- Karmic Death: Detective Levesque intentionally torments a traumatized man with his greatest fear while trying to force a bogus confession out of him. Said greatest fear immediately kills Levesque in a brutal fashion five seconds later.
- Lady Drunk: Annie's mother Octavia is dying from cancer, and she spends her days drinking liquor and being unpleasant to anyone who isn't part of her family.
- Literally Shattered Lives: After the mirror containing Daniel Robitaille's soul is destroyed, his manifestation on front of Annie turns into glass and shatters into pieces.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Annie discovers that she is the great-great-granddaughter of the Candyman.
- Offing the Offspring: More like offing the Great-Granddaughter. Candyman values loyalty to his legend above above all, even his own family. Thus, when Annie's mother Octavia rather explosively denies that Candyman even exists, he shows up and violently kills her for the slight, despite her never invoking him.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Pam Carver, Levesque's partner, is much more focused on finding the actual murderer instead of blaming it on someone from the upper class. When she sees the video footage of Levesque's death, Pam can clearly see Ethan wasn't anywhere near Levesque as Levesque's body seemed to float in the air while his wounds apparently opened by themselves. With that in mind, she's able to allow Annie to get away from the other police officers after Octavia's killed, understanding Annie and her brother aren't the ones responsible for these deaths.
- Someone to Remember Him By: Paul dies, but not before leaving his girlfriend a parting gift.
- Soul Jar: Annie comes to learn that on the moment of his death, Daniel Robitaille's soul transferred into a mirror that was being held by his lover Caroline. In order to stop Candyman, that mirror must be destroyed.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Phillip Purcell is first to meet his doom after he defies the Candyman myth by reciting his name in front of a reflective surface five times.