As Juneteenth officially becomes a federal holiday, the significance of recognizing and reflecting on the day has only grown. In 1992, the original Candyman debuted. It told the story of a victim of a brutal hate crime who externalizes his pain in the same community that once turned against him. 

Director of the upcoming Candyman film Nia DaCosta created a horror project that reframes that legend with new urgency. Today, on the eve of Juneteenth, DaCosta describes her intentions for the film. Watch her statement in the video below.

Candyman promises “an exciting, scary-as-hell horror film that also speaks to the movement and momentum of Black lives now.”

Here’s the official description for Candyman:

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, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; HBO’s Watchmen, Us) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris; If Beale Street Could Talk, The Photograph), move into 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, a chance encounter with a Cabrini-Green old-timer (Colman Domingo; HBO’s Euphoria, Assassination Nation) exposes Anthony to the tragically horrific nature of the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to maintain his status in the Chicago art world, Anthony then begins to explore these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, 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.

DaCosta directs the film, produced by Oscar-winner Jordan Peele. DaCosta and Peele co-wrote the screenplay, along with Win Rosenfeld.

Candyman hits theaters August 27.

Source: NBC Universal