Remember Candyman? We’ve been excited about director Nia DaCosta‘s modern take on the 1990s horror classic for years, and after being delayed due to the pandemic, we’re finally only a couple of months away from being able to see it for ourselves.
The film doesn’t come out until the end of August, but to celebrate Juneteenth, Universal released a new Candyman featurette in which DaCosta talks about what the newly federally recognized holiday means for the Black community and how some of those feelings are explored in her new take on this property.
Juneteenth memorializes the end of slavery in the United States. Despite the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation and the cessation of the American Civil War, Texas had refused to end slavery in its state – until a federal order was given on June 19, 1865 which proclaimed all slaves in the state to be free. Just over a year later, slavery had officially ended in the final four holdout states in the country. Yesterday, President Joe Biden signed a law officially making Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday.
Candyman Juneteenth Featurette
Here’s the official description and mission statement of this featurette:
Juneteenth is a day that has historically recognized the perseverance and power of the Black community. Over the last two years, taking time to recognize and reflect on this holiday has only gained added significance. Black art, and Black storytelling in particular, provides audiences the opportunity to see both the reality and the possibility of Black lives in America. Candyman first appeared on film in Bernard Rose’s 1992 cult classic as a vengeful, mystical entity, a victim of a brutal hate crime who externalizes his pain in the same community that once turned against him. Nia DaCosta found inspiration to bring Candyman into a new age. As director of this year’s CANDYMAN, she has created a film rooted in horror that reframes the Candyman legend with new urgency. Produced by Jordan Peele, this film is an exciting, terrifying, entertaining, scary-as-hell horror film that also speaks to the movement and momentum of Black lives now. In this piece, Nia articulates her intentions for her film on the eve of Juneteenth.
“Horror is a really effective tool when it comes to telling stories about things that impact us on a social level,” DaCosta says, cutting straight to the heart of what we love about horror films and why this particular movie is perfectly poised to reflect our current cultural moment. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the wait for this one is definitely going to be worth it.
Candyman arrives in theaters on August 27, 2021. by Ben Pearson