When it comes the Halloween season, there are slew of horror flicks that get released, often enough they include ghosts, zombies, clowns and so on, and many of these are fine to play anytime of the year, however there’s a group that find themselves only situated for the month of October just that beloved holiday. Any horror fan can name a few, obviously Halloween (1978), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), The Barn (2016), and Terrifier (2016) in fact there’s over 270 of them focused on this one day of the year. Therefore it’s only fitting that director Josh Hasty, who has another flick focused on this day which was called Honeyspider (2014), also penned his first screenplay for Candy Corn, that received distribution from Epic Pictures on VOD and Blu-ray.  Of course, like any indie production usually the director wears multiple hats, this one is no different with Josh handling the editing and serving as music compose as well, as he understood his path for the film, namely one of an anti-bullying message.

Set in the town Grove Hill, with population 1980 (a reference to the era) Candy Corn follows a group of friends Mike (Jimothy Beckholt), Steve (Cy Creamer) and his girlfriend, who is against this but tags along for I suppose fun Carol (Madison Russ), Bobby (Caleb Thomas) and planning their annual Halloween tradition of hazing on the local outcast and perhaps mentally handicapped, Jacob Atkins, overhearing the fun time is Gus (Sky Elobar) who also wants in on the torture. However tired of the constant stomping Jacob, our candy corn munching victim, decides to fight back with dire consequences.  His body is later found by the carnies at a circus that actually accept him into their fold, as another outcast, soon enough, the ringmaster of a traveling carnival and who runs Dr. Death’s Sideshow Spook House Spectacular (Pancho Moler (31 [2016])) turns Jacob into a supernatural vessel for vengeance, for a series on unknown reasons. Its surrounding the aspect of the freaks versus the normal (rest of society), though some object to the occult rituals, such as Bishop Gate (Tony Todd (Candyman [1992])) in a role that’s truly worthless, such a great actor and usage in the movie a waste. The introduction of Sheriff Sam (Courtney Gains (Corbin Nash [2018])) gives the film a solid baseline, while Marcy Taylor (P.J. Soles (Carrie [1976])) portrays his secretary, strangely enough this small town seems to have a very strong police force who seems to be everywhere and close/roadblock around the community.  One significant problem, everything seems very much telegraphed, ahh the audiences know the Killer, and the intended victims, there’s no surprise, what’s shocking the police don’t who, as this seems as a common annual occurrence, somebody by now would have guessed the bullies. Then again, if that was done, I suppose we wouldn’t have a candy corn killing and slashing madness splattering is victim’s guts for everyone.

The major plus for the film, comes from the stellar practical effects from Justin Mabry, who worked the new mask for Michael Myers in Halloween (2018), assisting him was also Chris Gallaher (Night of the Demons [2009]) and Erik Porn, who worked American Horror Story series as well as recently Devil’s Whisper (2017).  However it can’t solve the film from other problems, namely lack of scares, meandering shots of following polices overhead down long winding stretches of road – why, no true reason, merely padding the story, the viewers learn nothing of seeing these scenes, at least give the voiceovers of radio calls something to keep the entertainment flowing on a even level. While this movie lacks, the filmmakers nail the locations, a rundown diner, a dirty carnival, near abandoned homes, these places speak volumes. In addition, the film makes wonderful usage of public domain films and music such as The Phantom Creeps (1939) and The Bat (1959), rather just using the commonplace Night of the Living Dead (1968), research went positively a long-way, and the inclusion of the track “At the Devil’s Ball” by Maurice Burkhart, marking the second time in a week this reviewer heard that song the other was Patrick Lussier’s Trick (2019). It appears as Candy Corn binges from too much of a sugar rush and fades with fatigue when it comes to the storytelling, especially with a long-winded end credits rundown.

Candy Corn might be a treat for some horror fans that seek a new carnage and those who love Halloween, even if its staying power might struggle, it does deliver the goods of splattering lots of blood and gore everywhere. . made ’80s horror delightful, mashed together with all of the blood and gore of modern Horror. The ratings for it have climbed, and have risen from original 1.4 when I first watched this movie last week (6-days ago) as more see it climbs the ranks, however don’t judge it base of the rating number this close to Halloween, take the chance maybe you’ll enjoy the  sweet candy that the film offers.


  • This year there’s a new Halloween tradition.


IMDb rating: 3.4/10

Baron’s rating: 3.5/10