I was scrolling through my Netflix queue this morning when I came across a movie that I forgot existed, CABIN FEVER. But it wasn’t the original from 2003, directed by Eli Roth. Rather, it was the remake from 2016. I stared at my screen with my brows arched and my mouth agape like I was trying to solve a calculus problem. Why in the utter fuck is there a remake to CABIN FEVER? Sure, the first film has its fans
which we can’t say about the shitty sequels but was the audience for the first one so large that a remake coming less than 15 years later warranted. I’m not exactly what you would call a purist. I don’t have an issue with every film under the sun being remade. If I survived the APRIL FOOLS DAY remake I can survive anything. I’m even a supporter of some remakes. MY BLOODY VALENTINE, THE THING, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, MANIAC! These were all worthy remakes, and in some cases, even bested the originals. With everything that’s been remade, I have to ask about one movie that’s barely been rumored for a remake… and that’s CANDYMAN.
We all know him. Daniel Robitaille. The son of slaves, who fell in love with a white woman and was tortured by the townsfolk who cut his hand off. He became a legend and after repeating his name five times in the mirror and comes back to fuck shit up. Horror Icon Tony Todd is to Candyman what Robert Englund is to Freddy Krueger. Both actors inherently own the roles and gave each character such nuanced personalities that replacing them with other actors would be… well you’ve seen the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake. Not terrible results but pales in comparison. Tony Todd’s ocean’s deep voice and understated portrayal of Candyman was both sympathetic and terrifying simultaneously. The original film is still disturbing and it’s sequel, FAREWELL TO THE FLESH somehow got better over time. (I just pretend that part 3 doesn’t exist.) The trilogy is popular and is one of the few horror success stories of the 90s. So I have to ask? What’s up with a remake?
A fourth installment has been rumored for years but since the last sequel, that shall not be named, came out in 1999 I think a remake or reboot would better serve the series. A fresh take on this classic story would captivate today’s audiences. Involving CANDYMAN creator, Clive Barker, would also give this puppy some added ounce of cred. While I think the biggest hurdle would be replacing Tony Todd I don’t think it would be impossible. However, if the new film would just be a reboot instead of a remake then Tony Todd can brand the bloody hook again and we’ll all be happy.
All I’m asking is for a good revival of a familiar brand. A new CANDYMAN movie is exactly what this world needs right now. Not another CABIN FEVER. CANDYMAN has a solid, if disturbing, backstory and the character himself is also genuinely scary. The idea of conjuring up a murderous, tortured spirit by calling on him in the mirror 5 times is still something I don’t do because of the original film. And I’m
37 in my mid-30s. Let’s face it- today’s youth needs a healthy scare like Tony Todd and Clive Barker gave me in the 90’s.