Nia DaCosta took inspiration from several classic horrors for the new ‘Candyman’ film.
The 31-year-old director has helmed the direct sequel to the 1992 movie of the same name – which centres on Daniel Robitaille/Candyman (Tony Todd), a vengeful slave spirit who kills anyone who summons him by saying his name five times into a mirror – and was influenced by iconic horror movies of the past.
Nia told Variety: “I wanted it to feel really interesting and specific visually, in the way the original did.
“Some of my references were films like ‘The Fly’ for body horror and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, which is an amazing portrait of psychological terror that also has really beautiful production design.
The Candyman is the ghost of an African-American man who was murdered in the 19th century for an interracial love affair and Nia explained how shadow puppetry was used to depict acts of racist violence – as well as the story of the original ‘Candyman’ movie.
Nia said: “Early on, we were talking about how to tell that story without it being trite and silly or flashing back to the original movie, because none of us wanted to do that.
“We talked about not only the look of shadow puppets but the long history of it – how it might be the first form of telling stories in an abstract way. It represents how long this history of brutality is.”
Nia, who is helming the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) sequel ‘The Marvels’, added: “It’s a great way to show brutality – but not.
“From the beginning I was very clear about my tolerance for violence against black people. I love gore; I love body horror; I love all that stuff. When it’s about enhancing the psychological terror, go for it. But I didn’t want to depict what we see every day.”