Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Cand… nah, we’re way too chicken to even try it. And if you’ve seen the trailer for director Nia DaCosta’s spiritual sequel to the early-1990s slasher classic, Candyman, you would be too. The highly anticipated film, from Jordan Peele’s production company Monkeypaw, promises a terrifying and fresh take on the legend of the hooked killer, one that digs into issues like the continual suppression of Black Americans as it delivers its genre thrills.

Ahead of the movie’s release in theaters this August, Rotten Tomatoes sat down with DaCosta and star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays artist Anthony McCoy, who unknowingly reawakens evil in the film. In our exclusive extended conversation, the filmmaker and star open up about expanding the franchise’s mythology, the ways in which horror films can reflect (and critique) the real world that inspires them, Peele’s impact on the genre, and why they felt compelled to continue the Candyman story.

Candyman is in theaters from Friday August 28, 2021.

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