Candyman (2021): Black Gaslighting, Exploitation, and Gentrification

Christian movie podcast Cinematic Doctrine reviews Jordan Peele Candyman Popcorn Theology
Candyman (2021) – Black Gaslighting, Exploitation, and Gentrification

Melvin & Dan discuss the latest entry in the Candyman franchise, a series whose first film is far more artful than its horror-icon counterparts. Candyman (2021) continues its original’s themes of uniquely racial struggles and readopts them for the modern age in a thoroughly complex manner, covering topics as wide as gentrification, art exploitation, Black self-exploitation, and a continued theme of cultural gaslighting that sits comfortably beside the original’s narrative. Tune in to hear more about the first of many horror flicks we’re reviewing this spooky season! Also, both our cats make an appearance! Meow!


  • Melvin talks about how rap and hip-hop has been maligned for being inappropriate by certain white communities (specifically Christians, and also the Gen X and Boomer generation), and how often the reality is that “rock-and-roll” is incredibly crass, sexual, and violent. Meanwhile artists like 2Pac, while often transgressive as well, also have albums like “Me Against The World” that are deeply thought-provoking, chillingly sad, and exemplify a cry of suffering, a want for change, and the gaslighting of the black community against white systems of oppression. 
  • Daniel talks about calling pets babies. 
  • Introducing Candyman (2021) [13:26] 
  • For Daniel, Candyman (2021) wasn’t scary, but its an effective creepy story. 
  • Candyman (2021) isn’t overtly pioneering off BLM or ACAB, it’s merely a thematic evolution of the first film’s themes. From ghetto/project community to gentrification, from a white-woman’s thesis to a black man’s artistic muse, Candyman (2021) feels natural as a sequel that continues the legacy of its predecessor. 
  • Melvin felt Candyman (2021) succeeds in being scary, and a lot of that is due to the presence of the Candyman as an intimidating horror icon. 
  • Daniel reminisces about the first time he saw the original Candyman
  • Candyman (2021) is fairly heavy-handed at times in expositing its themes, which reminded Daniel of a review by Angelica Jade who feels the film is essentially written for a white audience, specifically in that it explains details that otherwise would be intrinsically known by Black audiences. 
  • Yet, the frustrating reality of systematic issues is that, often times, they are bold as day. Thus, no matter how much clearer they become, there are still people unwilling to believe them even if they’re explained to them in the simplest most basic of terms. 
  • How the ending abruptly happens and it’s kinda mehh, but that’s alright. 


Jordan Peele Candyman 2021 killing college girls in bathroom

Candyman (2021) is Rated R for bloody horror violence, and language including some sexual references. It features Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo, Kyle Kaminsky, Venessa Williams, Rebecca Spence, and Tony Todd. Directed by Nia DaCosta. Candyman (2021) is currently in theaters.

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Melvin Benson Cinematic Doctrine Christian Movie Podcast Host

Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!

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