Spoiler-Free Review of “Candyman” (2021) in Theaters: A Solid Direct Sequel

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Say it…I dare you.”

Candyman (2021) released in theaters on August 27th 2021. The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Vanessa Williams and Tony Todd. It runs for approximately an hour and thirty minutes.

In present day, Anthony and Brianna move into the now gentrified Cabrini-Green. Anthony is trying to make a name for himself as an artist when he comes across the legend of Candyman, which inspires his latest work. He encourages others around him to summon Candyman, which unleashes something sinister into the world once again.

Here is the trailer:

Candyman attempts to make itself relevant in today’s world while still recognizing the original film in the process. Is it worth a watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

Visually stunning.

The visual effects in this movie were really so well done. The art, the use of light, the focus on the reflections and even the body horror was done in such an interesting way. I really loved the elevator scene in particular and I thought that the visual choices really gave the film a genuine chilling quality.

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

A continuation of the original story that made sense!

I’ve seen so many different reboots, remakes, and re-imaginings over the years and I was wondering what we were going to get to witness with the new Candyman. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it continued the original story.

The film still branched off into something new, but it kept the story going in an effective way. It truly felt like a direct sequel and it worked.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

I wanted more from our main characters.

The acting was well done and I genuinely liked all of the performances, but I wanted a little bit more. I didn’t really believe the chemistry between Brianna and Anthony, which impacted the reveal later on.

I also thought that we could have expanded on some of the flashbacks a bit more and Colman Domingo was so fantastic, but I wanted to see him in more scenes. I also think him randomly showing up seemed a bit out of place, but I’ll just go with it…

Attempted to do A LOT.

The film was not very long and it really tried to cram so much in. I think it created several discussions worth having but I also found myself being bounced around a little bit too much. I didn’t want to lose focus in this film because there were so many things that were so well done, but this could have been tightened up a little bit in my opinion.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

I’m in!

This movie was a worthy direct sequel.

It was chilling, unique, and visually stunning. While it did attempt to do a lot in one film, there was still enough substance here to keep me entertained.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Candyman (2021) in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now!

Play if you dare…

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Ranking the “Final Destination” movies from Best to Worst

“In death there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mishaps, and no escapes…”

Since I’m running low on new programming for television, I thought it would be the perfect time to go back and binge-watch some movies as well. I don’t know about you, but I used to be obsessed with the Final Destination movies and still am. After spending some time re-watching all of the movies, I thought it would be the perfect time to rank the films from best to worst.

Whether it’s a cringe-worthy death scene, a mysterious song selection, a perfectly placed Easter egg, or the brilliant and chilling presence of Tony Todd’s William Bludworth, each film certainly has a lot to offer, but there are some that just stand the test of time a little bit better than the rest.

Please note spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked the Final Destination films and why.

1

Final Destination

Final Destination Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

Most of us will agree that the first movie of a film franchise is usually the best and the same holds true for the first film of the Final Destination series. Final Destination was released in 2000 and stars Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, and Kerr Smith. Hello 90’s dream team!

After boarding Flight 180 with his classmates, Alex Browning (Sawa) has a disturbing vision and sees the plane explode. After detecting several more clues, Alex has a meltdown and asks to be let off the plane, causing several of his classmates to exit as well, as we soon discover that his vision comes true. To make matters worse, the survivors each begin dying in the order they were originally meant to.

I love the first movie because we are uncovering the mystery behind death’s plan right along with the characters. We don’t know what is happening exactly and we don’t know who will survive, which keeps us on the edge of our seats the entire time.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

While Tod’s strangulation in the shower is still the most difficult one for me to watch, there has to be something said about Billy’s (Seann William Scott) decapitation in front of the train. This death is shocking because it happens right after Alex intervenes to save Carter, revealing that a death can be skipped.

At the end of the film, it looks like our three main characters have made it safely to Paris, but death circles back around to claim some more victims, leaving us with a gruesome and shocking ending.

William Bludworth did remind us that there were no escapes…

2

Final Destination 3

Final Destination 3 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

I don’t know about you, but I have always been extremely afraid of roller coasters and that was before this film was released. Final Destination 3 was released in 2006. It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ryan Merriman, and Amanda Crew.

Wendy (Winstead) experiences a lifelike vision, which may be the most horrific one out of all of the films. She demands to get off of the roller coaster and some other passengers end up following her, but her boyfriend does not make it off the ride in time, suffering a cruel fate with the rest of the passengers.

The third movie really channeled the first film well and out of all of the films, I think that Alex (Sawa) from the first film and Wendy (Winstead) from the third are the most compelling characters. Their visions are well placed and they really pay attention to the clues without just stumbling around asking why this is happening to them.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 3 Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m not sure how one can ever forget the infamous tanning bed scene. Looking good does have its price, as Amber and Ashley suffer a toasty death while jamming out to “Love Rollercoaster.” These characters really need to pay attention to the song selections more…

Similar to the first film, Wendy and the other survivors realize that they can skip the order of death, but once they are all on the same train together, all bets are off as we witness a gruesome and violent end of the line…

3

Final Destination 2

Final Destination 2 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

The sequel rarely holds up to the original, but I thought that Final Destination 2 gave us a valiant effort. Released in 2003, the film stars Ali Larter, A.J. Cook, and Michael Landes.

After Kimberly has a vision of a horrific car accident, she gets out of the car and avoids a tragic fate. After detecting the signs and doing some research on the original Flight 180 incident, she decides to track down the only survivor, Clear Rivers (Larter).

A newspaper clipping reveals that Alex did eventually die, which was disappointing, but I appreciated that we at least got one main character for the sequel. Only, Clear ends up in a padded room in a mental institution, but decides to risk it all to help Kimberly and the others.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 2 Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

That elevator decapitation scene still has me taking the stairs whenever possible…

The sequel does a good job of continuing the mysterious plot while introducing some new elements. When Kimberly and Officer Burke meet Bludworth with an introduction from Clear, we discover a new twist in the design. New life can defeat death, which gives our main characters a way to actually live out the rest of their lives. Although, it doesn’t look like the ripple is done with everyone…

4

Final Destination 5

Final Destination 5 Cinemax
Images courtesy of Cinemax

After “The Final Destination,” we were lucky enough to receive a fifth film in the franchise, which was released in 2011. It stars Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, and Miles Fisher.

Final Destination 5 Cinemax 3
Images courtesy of Cinemax

When Sam goes on a work retreat, he has a gruesome vision of the bridge collapsing, leading to the familiar plot we know so well. Tony Todd is back and better than ever as Bludworth, revealing to our new group of characters that taking someone else’s life can somehow even the score with death.

We still don’t know why Bludworth knows so much about death’s plan and although theories have been shut down about his character actually representing death in human form, it’s unclear if he is a villain or an ally, but he is the face of these movies and I adore him! More please!

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 5 Cinemax 2
Images courtesy of Cinemax

Probably the standout death scene of the entire film franchise for me. I never do too well with anything involving eyes and this scene really made my skin crawl. Poor Olivia thinks she is about to finally see the world with new eyes, but ends up undergoing a beyond disturbing system failure during her surgery.

Even though the take a life strategy seems to be paying off, we get another fantastic twist at the end of the movie and discover that Sam and Molly are now on Flight 180, making this movie actually a prequel.

Final Destination 5 Cinemax 4
Images courtesy of Cinemax

We get a fun montage during the credits with some of our favorite death scenes and of course another look at the fabulous Tony Todd. While not my favorite film, I thought this one bounced back from the worst film of the series, which we are about to jump into.

5

The Final Destination (Final Destination 4)

Final Destination 4 Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

I guess the 3D aspect of this movie was somewhat cool, but there were a lot of things that went wrong in this movie. The Final Destination was released in 2009. It stars Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, and Haley Webb.

After Nick has a vision of a race track accident gone wrong, we get some 3D clues thrown our way that hit us over the head a little bit too much. I personally really enjoyed the small hints along the way. The songs or the pieces of paper or shadows floating by added to the mystery of death’s plan. However, Nick had a vision every single time he had a clue with one of these obnoxious 3D bursts of images, which didn’t sit well with me.

The acting is also absolutely horrific in this particular film and it’s the only film without Tony Todd. I’m so glad that he returned for the fifth movie because that was a mistake that needed to be rectified.

Standout death scene:

Final Destination 4 Netflix
Images courtesy of Netflix

That escalator scene was pretty brutal along with the explosion during the 3D film.

Overall, this movie was very underwhelming for me although it had a few moments of potential thrown in.

So, what’s next for Final Destination? Well, there have been talks of a “Final Destination 6,” although it will probably be some time until we get an actual release date. Fingers crossed!

Where to watch the Final Destination films: As of April 2020, films 1-4 are streaming on Netflix and Final Destination 5 is available on Cinemax demand.

Which films did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Final Destination in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural? Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery? Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon! Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well. I really hope you enjoy!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Scream: Resurrection” Season 3 on VH1: I’m Feeling Woozy Here!

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Do you like scary movies?”  I actually do and my favorite movie of all time is Scream.  I have probably seen this movie over 30 times now and I never get tired of watching it.  I love everything related to Scream…up until now.  It’s been about three years since Scream season 2 released on MTV and I was pretty shocked to discover that we were finally getting a season 3.  Only it’s a new network, a new cast, and a new story-line.  We were left with a cliffhanger in Scream season 2, but I was ready to give this season a chance and I was hoping for the best.

Along with the series, we currently have four movies in the Scream franchise so far, which makes me smile because I think about how Randy pointed out the rules of a trilogy, but I’m always up for more slasher fun in ScreamScream Resurrection features six episodes, which aired as a three-night event on VH1, premiering on July 8th 2019.  It stars RJ Cyler, Jessica Sula, Giorgia Whigham, Tyga, and Keke Palmer.

Our main protagonist, Deion, lost his brother when he was young after they went out trick-or-treating together.  In present day, Deion ends up getting detention with several other students, forming their own version of The Breakfast Club.  They rename it, The Deadfest Club, and are quickly targeted and stalked by a killer wearing the infamous Ghostface mask, as they realize that perhaps the killer is hiding in plain sight.

The Pros:

Ghostface
Image courtesy of VH1

The original Ghostface mask and voice actor return.

I thought this was really cool and it gave me a lot of Scream nostalgia hearing voice actor, Roger Jackson, again, bringing back all of my “Surprise Sidney” feels!  It was genuinely scary and creepy hearing the OG Ghostface over the phone, so this really helped elevate some of the threats for me.

Tony Todd is awesome.

You gotta love seeing Candyman and I absolutely welcomed his small role on the series, which provided me with some genuinely entertaining moments.  Tony Todd is fantastic in everything and he knows how to really creep out an audience and he didn’t disappoint here!

The Cons:

Scream resurrection 5
Image courtesy of VH1

The dialogue is bloody terrible.

I don’t think that I have sat through a show with dialogue this bad in a very long time and I was really working hard to sit through this, but some of these conversations had me pulling my hair out.  The jokes didn’t work and everything just felt so forced and uninspiring.  Even the pickup lines and pointless hookup scenes made you wish for some cheesy guy to come up to you and ask you if there is a mirror in your pocket.  That’s how bad they were.

The characters leave a lot to be desired.

The characters on season 3 even made it a point to say that they all fit into certain labels or stereotypes, like the goth or the jock.  However, even though they were aware of this, they didn’t do anything to actually separate themselves from these dull and tired stereotypes.  Deion’s backstory was just kind of meh and I found myself really struggling to connect with anyone. 

Beth (Giorgia Whigham from The Punisher) and Kym (Keke Palmer from Scream Queens) had some glimmers of potential, but it simply wasn’t enough.  When you watch a horror or slasher movie, you want to have someone to root for and I simply did not care about what happened to any of the characters…at all.

So am I in or out?

Scream 10

Sidney Prescott called and she’s out and so am I!  Everything just felt so forced and dull.  There were even several attempts to chat about horror movies and different rules, but they didn’t work them in seamlessly, which made these references kind of pointless.  The kills were just OK and the reveals and twists at the end were just whatever for me and why did we keep calling the killer, “Ghostface,” like that was his or her real name?  Just call him or her the killer!  

Stu gif 1

I was honestly so disappointed with this and I don’t recommend it to anyone unless you want to have a good laugh and if you do, watch Scream Queens instead, which is actually really clever and well done.  If you are looking for some slasher fun and gore, I would recommend watching Slasher on Netflix instead.  You might as well have a Scream movie marathon or even watch the first two seasons of MTV’s Scream, rather than waste your time on this.

Seriously, anything other than watching this.  VH1 was smart about turning this into a three night event or else I probably would have tuned out after the premiere.  I’m hoping that this doesn’t taint the Scream franchise because I am a huge fan, but I was just looking for so much more and unfortunately I didn’t get it here.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts on Scream Resurrection in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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