Speaking during her Virtual Fireside Chat at the Nightstream Film Festival, DaCosta explained: “In the original, he’s already a fully formed … I guess monster, we’ll say, because that’s definitely how he’s positioned in the original film, as a monster.
“And so, it’s really like a reveal of, ‘Here’s my chest. I’m fully formed, I’m fully grotesque,’ and this one, we really wanted it to be a slow progression, and for me, I really wanted to trigger the response of like, you know when all of us have had a heat rash or something, and we’re like, hmm, what’s that?
DaCosta continued: “In this movie, of course, it doesn’t go away, it gets worse, and so I wanted to have that effect. If someone goes home after watching this movie and looks at their own rash, or bump, or mosquito bite and is a little more freaked out, then I’ve done my job.
“And that’s really what I wanted to do, it’s about getting inside the head of the audience and really viscerally disturbing them and tracking it psychologically with the sense of the main character.”
The new Candyman is set in the American neighborhood where events began — a now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.
he original movie — which is inspired by legendary horror author Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden” — follows graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) who explores the story of the Candyman for her thesis on urban legends.
The legend states that the Candyman — who, in life, was African American artist Daniel Robitaille who was lynched for falling in love and fathering a child with a White woman in 1890 — is summoned after his name is said out loud five times in a mirror.
“I remember hearing about it, always got dared to it, still haven’t, and then eventually I saw the movie and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s Candyman, this is what everyone’s talking about.’ “