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September 11, 1992 (TIFF)
October 16, 1992 (United States)

Candyman is a 1992 gothic supernatural horror film, written and directed by Bernard Rose and starring Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons and Vanessa E. Williams. Based on Clive Barker's short story "The Forbidden", the film follows a Chicago graduate student completing a thesis on urban legends and folklore, which leads her to the legend of the "Candyman", the ghost of an artist and son of an enslaved person who was murdered in the late 19th century for his relationship with the daughter of a wealthy white man.

The film came to fruition after a chance meeting between Rose and Barker who recently completed his own film adaptation of Nightbreed. Rose expressed interest in Barker's story "The Forbidden", and Barker agreed to license the rights. Where Barker's story revolved around the themes of the British class system in contemporary Liverpool, Rose chose to refit the story to Cabrini-Green's public housing development in Chicago and instead focus on the themes of race and social class in the inner-city United States.

Candyman was theatrically released on October 16, 1992 by TriStar Pictures and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. The film received generally positive reviews and grossed over $25 million in the US, where it was also regarded in some critical circles as a contemporary classic of horror cinema. It was followed by two sequels, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman: Day of the Dead, with a direct sequel of the same name was released on August 27, 2021.


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