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Nightmare Fuel / Candyman (2021)

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  • The opening of the film, where Sherman Fields (a one-armed man falsely suspected of putting razors in candy and giving them to children) introduces himself by walking out of a hole in a wall and offering a young Burke candy. Even if he was ultimately shown to be innocent, it's still an unsettling moment.
  • The scene where Anthony enters an elevator in the library—the fact that he is surrounded on all sides by mirrors is an instant Oh, Crap! moment for the audience, which is immediately made to expect an attack by the Candyman, who makes himself known by dropping a piece of candy with a razor in it, and then appearing as a battered, blood-smeared specter.
    • The razor in the candy is an especially unsettling detail since the real Sherman Fields was actually innocent of doing that. It hints that Candyman, as an embodiment of collective fears and urban legends, has essentially overwritten Sherman Fields' innocence (and by extension, the innocence of the other people who Candyman is composed of) with this distorted rumor, a more literal version of how real victims of police brutality and racism are often reduced to their worst possible traits by the media (such as portraying the victims as Acceptable Targets because of their connections—however tenuous or irrelevant—to drug use or crime).
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    • Another horrifying detail: Fields' version of the Candyman is usually announced by heavy, almost gurgling breathing, which stems from the beating the cops gave him — his lungs are collapsed.
  • Anthony's Sanity Slippage throughout the film—it starts with small things, like him being excited that the coverage of the murders at the art gallery talks about his installation rather than being upset that Brianna's boss was brutally murdered, and culminates in Brianna's discovery of his Room Full of Crazy, full of distorted Francis Bacon-esque portraits, and his unstable, borderline abusive behavior when she discovers it. The fact that Brianna's father was hinted to be an artist who committed suicide due to mental illness adds a further layer to her fear of Anthony and the possibility that History Repeats.
    • When Brianna tries to prove that Candyman isn't real by summoning him in one of the mirrors, Anthony gets appropriately horrified and quickly smashes both the mirrors, alienating Brianna even further.
      Anthony: Don't say his name.
      Brianna: Don't follow me.
  • The scene where Candyman murders the prep school girls is the least graphic death scene but is still no less horrifying. For starters, the first girl killed has her death obscured by the bathroom stalls but we still hear the sickening noise of Candyman's hook tearing into her flesh and see a gallon of her blood being poured on the floor. The other three victims are also killed off-camera but a glimpse is shown through a pocket mirror of Candyman going after the last girl.
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  • The retelling of Daniel Robitaille's origin. You can hear the pain and shock in Burke's voice as he describes the horrific fate Daniel suffered. The fact that the origin itself is shown via paper puppets does not help.
  • The slow Body Horror transformation that Anthony undergoes. It begins with a bee sting, which is gradually surrounded with decaying skin (with a delightful shot of his fingernail peeling off that is reminiscent of The Fly (1986)), and concludes in Anthony's entire arm and face decaying, covered in pockmarked holes which make him look like a human honeycomb, an image that should be particularly unpleasant for any viewers who suffer from trypophobia.
  • Burke sawing off Anthony's rotting right hand and then slowing shoving a meat hook in the stump.
  • While Asshole Victim is in play here, the cops getting slaughtered is still somewhat scary, due to the look of terror on the officer's face as Candyman circles the car and threatens him. The door then unlocks and the officer flees, only to be greeted by Candyman's hook as soon as he turns into the alley.
  • At the end of the film, the audience is given the simple but horrifying visual of Anthony / Candyman floating in midair down a dark alleyway towards the viewer, with his face completely covered in bees. Candyman has fully returned, and with the speed that rumors and similar trends go viral on the Internet, how devastating will his eventual rampage be?
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    • Daniel Robitaille's face appearing on Candyman Anthony. Combined with Tony Todd's deep, thunderous voice, it's absolutely haunting.
      Daniel Robitaille: Tell. Everyone.
  • A chilling moment so quick you barely notice it: when Anthony first chants Candyman's name to get a rise out of Brianna, you can already see Candyman reflected in their apartment window at the end of the scene. He was there, but waiting.
  • The portrayals of Police Brutality in the film are quite disturbing. The off-screen beating to death of Sherman Fields is a particularly harrowing example. It starts when the police roughly escort a young William Burke upstairs, shouting at an offscreen Sherman. As Burke waits upstairs, more police officers, almost bordering on an entire unit, enter the room downstairs as Sherman's screams of pain become louder and louder...
  • The entire sequence in Finley's apartment.
    • First, Anthony is startled by a vision of Candyman in the mirror, mimicking his exact movements and further pushing his descent into madness. However, unlike a previous scene in a library, where the Candyman announced himself with a more overt Jump Scare, this scene makes full use of Nothing Is Scarier: all we see is Anthony examining his mutilated reflection while a droning score plays. Then Finley snaps him out of his trance, whereupon Anthony sees the Candyman in the mirror behind her, waiting to strike.
    • Then there's the murder itself: Candyman (completely invisible, mind you) lifts Finley by the neck and slits her throat before shoving her corpse against the window and dragging it along, smearing blood on the glass.
    • Arguably the most unnerving aspect of Finley's demise is the long pullout from her apartment window. Everyone is busy in the apartment building, going about their night and completely oblivious to the fact their neighbor is being slaughtered.
  • A Fridge Horror variant. The legend of Candyman seems to be capable of corrupting any black man who hears about into the next incarnation of the hook-handed killer. How many men of colour heard about the legend from this very film? Or read about it on this site?
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