Teyonah Parris (left) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star in "Candyman," a sequel to the trio of horror movies made in the 1990s. The movie debuts at Gateway Cinema on Friday.

Skyscrapers loom upside down out of the fog, drifting by from an odd perspective, as if from the point of view of someone on a gurney, or perhaps a spectral presence regarding these buildings occupying land that’s been stolen, developed, appropriated, allocated, gentrified and redeveloped again. This is the Chicago of Nia DaCosta’s “Candyman,” a reboot/sequel to the 1992 horror film directed by Bernard Rose. DaCosta’s film builds upon the horrors imagined by the original, which introduced the terrifying imagery of a man with a hook, surrounded by bees, a monster forged in racist violence, a mysterious figure and an urban legend that gives meaning to the horrors of a ghetto manufactured by white supremacy.

DaCosta, who made her directorial debut with the remarkable abortion drama “Little Woods,” firmly announces herself as an artist at work with “Candyman,” a genuinely terrifying and artful horror film that speaks with a bell-clear voice to the current moment, which is the product of centuries of racist power structures. While the original centered a white woman in this story of the horrors of the African American experience (and indeed, the white woman is often an incendiary and complicit figure in those tales), DaCosta’s film, which she wrote with producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, centers a Black man, an artist named Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). In “Candyman,” a Black man occupies the space of both the villain and the victim, sliding between persecuted and monstrous identities; horror tropes as social commentary.

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