10th Sep2021

Frightfest 2021: ‘Bad Candy’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Corey Taylor, Zach Galligan, Derek Russo, Ryan Kiser, Alexandra Lucchesi | Written and Directed by Scott B. Hansen, Desiree Connell

Written by Desiree Connell and Scott B. Hansen, who are also in the directors chairs, Bad Candy is a Halloween anthology that tells the tale of the local myths of the small town of New Salem in which it’s set. A festive and joyful selection of stories that put you right in that Halloween mood, this is one that will, undoubtedly, become a cult favourite in the years to come.

Starring the likes of Zach Galligan (Gremlins) and Corey Taylor (of Slipknot fame) this is one of those movies that sits perfectly as an “every year watch”. I’m a fan of anthology horror, and especially those set during the Halloween season. From the wrap-around story to each of the anthology offerings, Bad Candy nails both the vibe and the entertainment here, bringing the tone wonderfully, whilst creating something that somehow feels both fresh and familiar. It’s like somebody threw Creepshow into a blender with a pumpkin, a pile of candy corn and a few ghouls and drank whatever came out before creating this.

The idea of a popular radio show telling creepy tales is a very cool idea for the wrap-around, but it’s even cooler that each of the stories hits differently and they each feel unique. That is a rarity in anthology films, with many blending together, but that is not the case here. The town itself is a beautiful autumnal place with pumpkins on porches, owls in trees and leaves on the sidewalks. The stories are packed with all sorts, from trick or treating, creating monsters with a pencil, psychotic clowns, murderous devils, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

The practical effects and creature designs are great and reminded me of old-school horror, before CGI overtook many horror film releases. The implementation of both mediums works well. There’s a quality to Bad Candy, not just in the very good casting and the well-written and uber-fun stories, but in the top notch cinematography, the sound design and the way the town, New Salem, is dressed up for Halloween, with laughing skeletons hanging from trees, spiderwebs dangling from doors and jack-o-lanterns everywhere you look. Yes, Bad Candy is corny and silly, but it’s also a real blast, an ideal choice for the season. There’s a real love for Halloween at play here, and you can definitely tell that the creators love the theme immensely. It’s a playful movie with a generally fun nature, which makes it easy to watch and easy to like.

Sometimes the stories are a little creepier, sometimes they border on comedy, but they all work. It would be a shame to spoil these stories for you, so I’ll let you discover them for yourself, but be prepared for a movie that really does mix things up in the best way. So, just like the candy bars with razorblades in the middle, Bad Candy is worth your attention and has a lot to sink your teeth into. Don’t miss it. Oh, and… you be safe… you dig?

Bad Candy screened as part of this years Arrow Video Frightfest. The film comes to DVD and digital in the UK on October 4th from Kaleidoscope.

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