Dare to say his name. Oscar® winner Jordan Peele and director Nia DaCosta expand on the infamous Candyman legacy in this new horror thriller. Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Candyman from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Universal - 2021
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC – MAXCLL: 1000/MAXFALL: 128
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo
Directed by: Nia DaCosta
Music by: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Written by: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Nia DaCosta
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: November 16, 2021

"Say It…"


Dare to say his name. Oscar® winner Jordan Peele and director Nia DaCosta expand on the infamous Candyman legacy in this new horror thriller from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

My Take:

For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago's Cabrini-Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror.

In present day, visual artist Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend, gallery director Brianna Cartwright, live in a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials. With Anthony's painting career on the brink of stalling, he goes in search of inspiration in the abandoned apartment complexes in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood where a chance encounter with a Cabrini-Green old-timer exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman.

Anxious to uphold/reinvigorate his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony begins to explore these macabre details in his studio, unknowingly opening a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence that puts him on a collision course with destiny.

I recall the original Candyman film from the early nineties but, haven’t seen it in years. I liked that film and appreciated its themes which went beyond that of just a simple horror film, offering a pastiche that felt fresh. Here we are some thirty years later and the legend is back in Candyman.

Co-written by director Nia DaCosta and producer Jordan Peele, this is a sequel that brings the myth forward, presenting its story with relevant undertones and slick/smart filmmaking that underscore its Urban Gothic tale. There is ample bloodletting but, punches are aptly pulled here and there. The elements of fright aren’t as jump inducing as I would like but, there is no denying that there is a thoughtfulness behind storyline as it builds toward its conclusion.

At 91 minutes it seems to hurry along. I would have preferred another 10 minutes to better flesh out certain narrative threads. The ending leaves the door wide open for what could come next. I have to admit that I am hoping to see another installment as the potential is quite high. As it stands right now, Candyman is a solid genre entry that makes for an apropos and worth follow up to its predecessor.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for bloody horror violence, and language, including some sexual references.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.

UHD Presentation: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

    • HDR: Dark Highlights:
    • HDR: Bright Highlights:
    • HDR: Expanded Color:
    • Resolution:
    • Visual Impact:

Dolby Atmos Rating: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

    • Level of immersion:
    • Soundstage integration:
    • Audio object placement:
    • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
    • Entertainment factor:

Candyman comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray Candyman was derived from 3.4K/6.5K sources and finished on a 4K DI.

From a cinematic perspective, this film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in this presentation. Using a mix of digitally based elements the image has a predominantly smooth aesthetic, with clean delineation that draws out plenty of detail, in both close-up and wide-angle camera shots. At times the image is nearly devoid of color, while at others, has a pleasingly diverse palate, that sets the mood of a scene. Blacks are deep without compromise to fidelity, as the layers of detail seen with them is readily apparent. Contrast abounds as the richness of the depth seen in grays, whites and mid-tones pops in the film’s low-level sequences. Fleshtones adhere to the film’s visual aesthetic and appear consistent throughout the presentation.

As I alluded to earlier Candyman isn’t a consistently colorful film however, its cooler chromatic hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red benefited from UHD's wider color gamut, appearing warmer and pleasing to the eye. There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. I wasn't especially bowled over with its application although some of that may be owed to the nature of the photography. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant but, none really stood out. There is one fantastic shot that takes place at the 30-minute mark in film as the camera overlooks the train platform with the nighttime cityscape in the background. Awesome.

Stylistically speaking, Candyman won’t dazzle with its use of eye scorching dynamism or vivid color. There is no question that its Ultra HD presentation appears faithful and makes for a distinct improvement when compared to the 1080p Blu-ray rendering.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it was evident right from the opening moments that this was going to be an active immersive sound mix. I was very pleased with the mix in general. The use of overhead sound objects elevates proportional correlation, adding a noticeable improvement by opening up the soundstage, elevating the perception of low-level detail and seemingly offering broader dynamic range. One of the best examples comes during chapter 10 when Anthony is in an elevator. You’ll see what I mean.

Across the board this mix is loaded with atmospherics, off screen cues and discrete sound effects that adds an enriching layer to the soundtrack. I also felt that the Atmos presentation, compared to the 7.1 channel track, added a layer to low frequency effects providing improved depth that sounded terrific. All in all, this one delivers a terrific home theater experience, exactly of the type you’d hope for.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

    • Resolution/Clarity:
    • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
    • Color Reproduction:
    • Fleshtones:
    • Compression:

Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

    • Dynamics:
    • Low frequency effects:
    • Surround Sound presentation:
    • Clarity/Detail:
    • Dialog Reproduction:
    • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Candyman comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This film intentionally uses a limited chromatic scheme and uneven lighting to depict its stylized visuals. Deep defining blacks and revealing details in low lit backgrounds and shadows provide excellent depth and gradational highlights to the film’s pervading darkened sequences. Detail is characterized by predominantly transparent imagery that appears dimensional and defining. This was the case in all but a few instances where definition softened slightly. I suspect that this was more than likely innate to the photography rather than related to the encoding. I thought that the creative choices made regarding the visual style of this film were right on target.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel (Atmos core) audio sounds terrific. This recording has wide dynamic range and boasts superlative clarity and high-level detail. Dialog is appreciably lucid through the center channel as it penetrates well into the room. Channel separation and imaging is excellent. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable. The mix makes effective and often aggressive use of the surround channels to reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds contained in this soundtrack. Where called upon the combination of discretely placed, near field, and panning sound effects engages the senses. Low frequency effects are applied with authority and provide room shuddering bass. This is a noteworthy audio presentation that made for an involving home theater experience.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Candyman Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Candyman Blu-ray
    • SAY MY NAME: Filmmakers and cast discuss how the horror at the center of Candyman is both timely and timeless, which is a tragedy in and of itself.
    • BODY HORROR: We explore director Nia DaCosta's influences in the subgenre of body horror, and what Anthony's physical transformation means to the story.
    • THE FILMMAKER'S EYE: NIA DACOSTA: Take a closer look at director Nia DaCosta, and how her singular voice and perspective were perfect to tell this story.
    • PAINTING CHAOS: Filmmakers reveal how Anthony's artwork evolves throughout the film and how they strived for authenticity in recreating Chicago's vibrant art scene.
    • THE ART OF ROBERT AIKI AUBREY LOWE: Composer Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe reveals some of the unconventional methodology he used to create the unique and haunting soundscapes sounds of the film.
    • TERROR IN THE SHADOWS: A behind-the-scenes look at how the analogue shadow puppetry scenes were created and an unpacking of why this ancient artistic medium was the most conceptually relevant for depicting the legends’ cycle of violence.
    • CANDYMAN: THE IMPACT OF BLACK HORROR: A roundtable discussion moderated by Colman Domingo about the nuanced relationship Black Americans have with Candyman, the horror genre and the overall idea of monsters and victims.
  • Digital Code

Final Thoughts:

Candyman is a solid genre entry that makes for an apropos and worth follow up to its predecessor of the same name. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent Ultra HD/HD video, engaging lossless sound, including a terrific Dolby Atmos listing track and a fan friendly assortment of extras. Candyman makes for pitch perfect viewing on a stormy evening and deserves a place at the top of your rental queue.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7706 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Oppo BDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
SVS Ultra Tower Speakers (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Center Channel (Gloss Finish)
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Niles Audio In-Ceiling/In-Wall Series Speakers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems