Entertainment

The Trailer for Jordan Peele's 'Candyman' Is Scary as Hell

If Us ensured that you'll never hear "I Got 5 On It" the same way, the new trailer for Jordan Peele's latest project will do the same for Destiny's Child's "Say My Name." It's an ideal music cue for the new Candyman, which Peele co-wrote and is directed by Nia DaCosta. After all, as story goes, if you say Candyman's name five times in front of a mirror he'll appear and kill you. Naturally, a bunch of people tempt fate in this new reimagining and from the looks of it, things don't go so well. Cue the bees. 

The 1992 Candyman, based on a short story by Clive Barker, is a landmark horror movie that's deeply scary and explicitly about race in America, centering on a graduate student investigating the urban legend that haunts the Cabrini-Green projects in Chicago. Introducing the trailer at an event Wednesday, Peele explained that he sees the original as an "iconic example of representation in the genre." DaCosta's update is set in the same location, but the scenery has changed. Now, buildings that made up Cabrini-Green have been largely torn down and gentrification has seeped into the landscape. Watchmen's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Anthony McCoy, an artist who becomes obsessed with the idea of Candyman, going so far as to set up an installation meant to conjure the killer. While not explicitly stated, it looks like Anthony is the grown up version of the baby from the earlier film who Candyman abducts.  

Speaking with Thrillist last year for our feature on the most exciting directors in horror now, DaCosta said, "For me, it was interesting to take something that was made in '92 and 27 years later be able to have something new to say. The world is different, how articulate everyone is about race and gender is different. We took a lot of things that the first movie established and ran with it. It's very much inside of the world and space, but it's for today." Elaborating during a brief press conference after the trailer screened, DaCosta added that her film talks about "the ghosts that are left behind by gentrification." (At least one of those ghosts is quite literal.) While this footage only alludes to bloodshed, DaCosta discussed her love of gore. "There's a good amount of things you don't want to see that I make you look at," she said.

But lest you think this is one of those trailers that reveals an abridged version of the whole plot, know that it doesn't even offer a glimpse of Candyman himself. And DaCosta won't divulge whether Tony Todd, who first brought the specter to life, is involved in her film. "I don't want to give anything away," she said.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.