Bad Candy (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Bad Candy (2021) Review

Horrorific content by christina on October 20th, 2021 | Movie Review | Supernatural, Teen, Halloween Slasher, Halloween Anthology

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Bad Candy follows local Halloween stories of both myth and lessons learned in the community of New Salem.

There’s nothing like a good Halloween horror anthology to keep October moving right along in style, and Bad Candy promises to feed your scary story craving. But do directors Scott B. Hansen and Desiree Connell actually get things right, or should you skip this particular mixed bag in favor of something sweeter? Bad Candy stars Zach Galligan, Michael Aaron Milligan, Cory Taylor, Kevin Wayne, and David Waterhouse, among others.

Six terrifying Halloween tales to die for.

Bad Candy Review

The small-town Chilly Billy radio show is the framing device for the multiple segments that make up Bad Candy. Host Billy (Taylor) and sidekick Paul (Galligan) are hard at work broadcasting their Psychotronic Halloween content – a series of frightening tales, myths, and urban legends about their town, New Salem. Each story features a different monster that enters the scene dressed as a clown.

In one tale, young Kyra (Riley Sutton) has a knack for sketching and the apparent ability to bring her sketches to life at will. When her abusive stepfather (Wayne) forces her to stay home on Halloween and miss out on trick-or-treating, Kyra decides to get revenge by putting her artistic talent to good use. Another tale follows the antics of Chuck (Milligan), a drug dealer who will soon meet a nasty end. A third follows the adventures of a recently-dumped morgue worker named Abbie (Haley Leery), who unwisely turns to alcohol and drugs to get through a graveyard shift.

The film continues in more or less the same vein throughout. Each segment is the tale of a different ill-fated New Salem resident who may or may not deserve their horrible fate. Many of the segments are also loosely interrelated to keep the film cohesive.

As is the case with many horror anthologies, some of the narratives in Bad Candy work better than others. Some are incredibly told – as with the story of Kyra and her occult drawings – and will come close to leaving you cheering aloud. Others range from vaguely confusing morality tales to bloody free-for-alls. Some of the narratives are nice and tight. Others feel a little sloppier and might have benefited from cleaner storytelling.

This would all be fine and dandy if a final voiceover from the narrators didn’t explain very plainly how the viewer is supposed to feel about everything they just saw. Unfortunately, some of the stories fit this explanation while others don’t, which hurts the film unnecessarily and leaves you wishing you were left to draw your own conclusions instead.

There’s a lot about Bad Candy that’s hard to swallow and that makes its low-budget indie status unnecessarily obvious. Uneven storytelling and a refusal to follow its own rules regarding how, why, and to whom these mysterious killings are happening keep this film from reaching its full potential. At times, it also feels like it’s not really going anywhere, as the killings feel redundant and develop a tendency to bleed into one another after a while. You will wonder what the point is at least a couple of times.

But Bad Candy has its strong points, too. For instance, it nails the concept of the creepy killer clown, so diehard coulrophobes will definitely get a serious case of the shivers. The production design and art direction are also excellent, for the most part. Lively, colorful sets complete with thoughtful touches keep the settings from feeling too bare and bland – something that really makes a difference.

Worth Watching?

So is Bad Candy the next big classic horror anthology to hit the market? Not even close, but it’s an entertaining Halloween-season ride all the same if you take it with a grain of salt.

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