It’s that ghoulish time of year again, where all the CRaziEs come out and horror fans get to bask in their element; which includes watching horror movies on those brisk October nights. Over the years, yours truly bestowed upon you 13 Halloween Horror movie reviews. Last year, 7 Deadly Horror flicks were put on display. Some were classics! Others were decent. A few were so bad that one had to watch them anyway. This month, 6 Sinful Films are being unearthed to help guide my loyal readers through their tireless search in finding a worthwhile horror flick during the Halloween season. Watch at your own entertainment risk my lovely corpses!

(Note: These reviews will differ from my usual style. All horror movies are selected at random, so some could, and will, blow goats)

The Candyman horror franchise was born in the early 90s and played off the “Bloody Mary” urban legend. Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh is the sequel to the first installment and it kept to the same idea with calling out “Candyman” five times in front of a mirror. And if someone is brave enough to test the legend, they usually end up with a giant hook puncturing their torso.

Believe it or not, a cohesive storyline, with a few drops of depth, is trying to be executed here. Like the first film, genre writer, Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Lord of Illusions) penned the story and uses a bloodline angle to justify why the Candyman is now appearing in New Orleans. Horror legend Tony Todd once again dons the giant blood stained hook on his hand and begins to torment a specific family.

Annie (Kelly Rowan) learns that her brother (William O’Leary) is accused of a brutal murders, which includes their own father. Convinced that this is just not possible, she begins to investigate her brother’s testimony and learns of the deadly myth of the Candyman (Tony Todd). The obvious happens (calling out his name) and random victims meet their demise. As Annie continues to probe and confront the seemingly human figure, the script reveals the origins of how the Candyman came to be and why he’s looking to torture anyone who dare utters his name.

One of the few things the flick gets right is projecting a proper horror movie atmosphere. An eerie aura surrounds every scene and certain moments get maximized when the handful of gruesome deaths occur. Plus, it helps that this is taking place in the creepy areas of New Orleans (picture the environment and technique The Crow II had going on at the end). Tony Todd has a venomous approach to the character this time around. He stares his victims down and just when they think they may get a reprieve, enter in a gory-hook finish; which is great for the audience, as the acting, aside from Todd, is nearly unbearable (you want certain people to bite it). However, one will always have to deal with the worst performer the entire way through in our lead, Kelly Rowan. She has piss-poor reactions to everything from watching people get maimed to learning key details about the Candyman. It’s like she decided to mimic the MTV cartoon character Daria. In other words, she has no range to speak of to the point you’ll want to smack her and say, “Hey bitch, you’re in a horror movie…start acting like it!”

The old saying, “It is what it is,” is definitely appropriate for this sucker. Meaning, any horror sequel is usually going to be inferior to the original. Giving birth to another possible iconic slasher in the Candyman was always welcomed; especially when you have an actor of Tony Todd’s caliber who knows how to use the character properly in each bloody scene. What falters is that a poor screenplay and/or directing ruining the chilling aesthetic the character – and the set designs – are trying to project out to the audience.

In the end, the direction of what Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh was trying to do from a tonal perspective is admirable and efficiently works here-n-there. There are no cheap campy moments injected and Tony Todd, who in-concert with minimal cinematography ideas, knows how to provide decent kills for all to soak in. All that said, the movie will leave the majority of people with a numb feeling rather than a suspenseful one.

RATING: Another inferior horror sequel with B-movie entertainment value.

Review by: Joe Belcastro

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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