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Candyman Director Nia DaCosta On Not Saying His Name In The Mirror

Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta and starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, will open in theaters in 2021 now, after having its release date changed multiple times this year during the pandemic. It is a shame, as this was one of the more anticipated horror events of 2020. No matter though, we will just have to wait a bit longer for HIS return. Recently, DaCosta sat down for a Fireside chat at the Nightstream Film Festival and discussed a variety of topics, including the body horror of this new film and how she still can't say HIS name into a mirror.

Candyman Moves From October 2020 to Sometime in 2021
The official poster for Candyman. Credit: Universal Pictures

Can You Say HIS Name In The Mirror? Could You Summon Candyman?

"When I was in elementary school, I think that was the first time I heard someone say, oh, we should say Candyman in the mirror. I was like, you know, I heard about Bloody Mary, that's not really my thing. Like, I won't be saying anybody's names or summoning any demons. But I remember hearing about it, always got dared to do it, I still haven't, and then eventually I saw the movie, and I was like, 'Oh, that's Candyman, this is what everyone's talking about.' Because for me, I grew up in Harlem, across the street from the projects, my school was next to another project complex, and so for us, we were like, oh yeah, he's over there, like he lives there. He haunts that building. And so, it was still a part of my childhood in that way."

She also talked a bunch about the tone and style of her Candyman film, including how she wanted it to be a body horror film: "In the original, he's already a fully formed…I guess monster, we'll say, because that's definitely how he's positioned in the original film, as a monster. And so, it's really like a reveal of like, 'Here's my chest. I'm fully formed, I'm fully grotesque,' and in this one, we really wanted it to be a slow progression, and for me, I really wanted to trigger the response of like, you know when all of us have had a rash or something, and we're like, hmm, what's that? Maybe it's a heat rash, and then maybe it doesn't go away for a while, and you're like, hm, interesting. Should I go to the doctor? No, it's probably fine. And then, for a vast majority of people, it goes away. In this movie, of course, it doesn't go away, it gets worse, and so I wanted to have that effect. If someone goes home after watching this movie and looks at their own rash, or bump, or mosquito bite and is a little more freaked out, then I've done my job. And that's really what I wanted to do; it's about getting inside the head of the audience and really viscerally disturbing them and tracking it psychologically with the sense of the main character."

Candyman opens in theaters in 2021.

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Jeremy KonradAbout Jeremy Konrad

Jeremy Konrad has written about collectibles and film for almost ten years. He has a deep and vast knowledge of both. He resides in Ohio with his family.
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