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(Photo by TriStar/ courtesy Everett Collection)

13 Movies To Watch If You Can’t Wait For Candyman

Yes the bees! Candyman is back, and here’s the hook: Jordan Peele is on-board as producer, co-writer, and convincer of Tony Todd to return to the franchise as the malevolent, mirror-jumping, body-slashing spirit. (Or at least we think Todd’s back – that was him at in the reflection at the end of the trailer, right?).

The 2020 Candyman, which is directed by Little Woods helmer Nia DaCosta, is the latest installment in the long-dormant franchise, so if you’re looking for movies what to watch anticipating the June 12 release, why not start with the original? 1992’s Candyman stood out among other horror releases of the decade (see: the 40 Best ’90s Horror Movies) for its distinctly African-American setting and plot, some raw honey-coated sexuality, and the perversely elegant direction and cinematography. Todd starred as Candyman, a man in 1890 who was brutally murdered by a lynch mob, and whose vengeful ghost could now be summoned at the Cabrini-Green projects in Chicago that had been built over his grave. Todd returned for two sequels, Farewell to the Flesh and Day of the Dead, and the 2020 film will follow the same continuity. For more of his horror work, don’t miss him as the mysterious funeral director in the Final Destination movies.

Peele has made groundbreaking strides in horror with Get Out and Us, and he and Todd appear in documentary HorrorNoire, which chronicles the history of black horror. For more films in this vein, where angry spirits return from the dead to menace the living, check out blaxploitation thriller J.D.’s Revenge, Snoop Dogg’s blaxploitation tribute Bones, and the comedic, race relations-tackling Tales from the Hood.

Meanwhile, Urban Legend is a ’90s slasher all about the spooky lore we create and share. I Know What You Did Last Summer, another horror anchor of that decade, also uses a sharp hook as its main instrument of dispensing murder. And if you just love the Chicago setting, the original Child’s Play is likewise set in a Windy City high-rise apartment building. Alex Vo

#13

Candyman 3 (1999)
7%22%

#13
Adjusted Score: 4071%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Art collector Caroline McKeever (Donna D'Errico) conjures up the spirit of her relative, Daniel Robitaille (Tony Todd), an African-American painter... [More]
Directed By: Turi Meyer

#12

Urban Legend (1998)
24%37%

#12
Adjusted Score: 26400%
Critics Consensus: Elements of Scream reappear in a vastly inferior vehicle.
Synopsis: A university is beset by a rash of gruesome murders that resemble old urban legends. When her friend Michelle (Natasha... [More]
Directed By: Jamie Blanks

#11

Bones (2001)
25%40%

#11
Adjusted Score: 26952%
Critics Consensus: Slow to start, the sleek looking Bones is more silly than scary.
Synopsis: Jimmy Bones (Snoop "Doggy" Dogg) is a legendary protector and patron of his thriving neighborhood. Cool, handsome and respected -... [More]
Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson

#10
Adjusted Score: 23015%
Critics Consensus: Doubling down on gore while largely abandoning the subtext and wit that made the original worthwhile, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh disappoints.
Synopsis: As her brother stands trial for the killing of an outspoken New Orleans professor, inner-city schoolteacher Annie Tarrant (Kelly Rowan)... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#9

Final Destination (2000)
35%68%

#9
Adjusted Score: 37713%
Critics Consensus: Despite a panel of X-Files' alums at the helm and a promising premise, flighty performances and poor execution keep Final Destination from ever taking off.
Synopsis: Alex Browning (Devon Sawa), is embarking on a trip to Paris. Alex experiences a premonition -- he sees the plane... [More]
Directed By: James Wong

#8
Adjusted Score: 46493%
Critics Consensus: A by-the-numbers slasher that arrived a decade too late, the mostly tedious I Know What You Did Last Summer will likely only hook diehard fans of the genre.
Synopsis: A year after running over a fisherman and dumping his body in the water, four friends reconvene when Julie (Jennifer... [More]
Directed By: Jim Gillespie

#7

Tales From the Hood (1995)
58%68%

#7
Adjusted Score: 58459%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A creepy mortician, Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III), attempts to scare teenage drug dealer Stack (Joe Torry) and his friends... [More]
Directed By: Rusty Cundieff

#6

J.D.'s Revenge (1976)
44%61%

#6
Adjusted Score: 16460%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Although notorious New Orleans gangster J.D. Walker (David McKnight) is shot and killed in the 1940s, his spirit remains restless... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Marks

#5

Child's Play (1988)
71%64%

#5
Adjusted Score: 73477%
Critics Consensus: Child's Play occasionally stumbles across its tonal tightrope of comedy and horror, but its genuinely creepy monster and some deft direction by Tom Holland makes this chiller stand out on the shelf.
Synopsis: Gunned down by Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon), dying murderer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) uses black magic to put... [More]
Directed By: Tom Holland

#4

Candyman (1992)
79%63%

#4
Adjusted Score: 83729%
Critics Consensus: Though it ultimately sacrifices some mystery in the name of gory thrills, Candyman is a nuanced, effectively chilling tale that benefits from an interesting premise and some fine performances.
Synopsis: Skeptical graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) befriends Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) while researching superstitions in a housing project on... [More]
Directed By: Bernard Rose

#3

Little Woods (2018)
95%55%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99493%
Critics Consensus: Led by standout work from Tessa Thompson, Little Woods tells a grimly absorbing tale that marks a commendable debut for writer-director Nia DaCosta.
Synopsis: In North Dakota, two estranged sisters are driven to extremes when their mother dies, leaving them with one week to... [More]
Directed By: Nia DaCosta

#2

Get Out (2017)
98%86%

#2
Adjusted Score: 125948%
Critics Consensus: Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#1
Adjusted Score: 100793%
Critics Consensus: Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror more than lives up to its title, offering a smart and entertaining overview of American film history through an overlooked lens.
Synopsis: A look at the history of black horror films and the role of African Americans in the film genre since... [More]
Directed By: Xavier Burgin