Horror reboot Candyman is winning praise for its surprisingly progressive treatment of a gay couple

The 2021 reboot of Candyman is already winning praise from LGBT+ horror fans for its surprisingly progressive treatment of a gay couple.

The film – dubbed a sequel to the 1992 film of the same name – hit cinemas on Friday (27 August) and immediately won critical acclaim for its deft handling of systemic racism in America.

But one of the less remarked upon aspects of the film is that it features a prominent gay couple. Misfits star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett stars as Troy Cartwright, the gay brother of Brianna (Teyonah Parris). Kyle Kaminsky appears as Troy’s boyfriend, Grady.

Candyman doesn’t exactly revolve around Troy and Grady – they’re supporting characters – but their presence is notable and somewhat surprising given the horror genre’s track record.

If you watch horror films, you’ll probably have noticed that LGBT+ characters often don’t appear at all – and when they do, they don’t tend to live very long (we’re looking at you, It: Chapter Two).

Candyman is winning praise from LGBT+ horror fans for not killing off its gay characters

That’s why so many LGBT+ horror fans were surprised to discover that (spoiler alert) Troy and Grady make it through the entirety of Candyman completely unscathed.

Cinema-goers have been taking to Twitter to heap praise on Candyman director Nia DaCosta and screenwriter Jordan Peele for creating a memorable, loving gay couple who don’t die in violent circumstances.

MFW they But they don’t
have gays in kill them
Candyman… pic.twitter.com/kW1V7acDwz

— no, im dirty dan (@noimdirtydan014) August 27, 2021

One of my favorite things about the latest Candyman is the gay couple that makes it through the movie just fine.

— Charlie Stolz (@Charliestolz) August 30, 2021

Also, #candyman … Troy is maybe my favorite queer black rep because it is literally actually honest.

— JV | The Ancient, The Tired, The Canary Simp. (@RedBlaqueGolden) August 27, 2021

Oh my god, I fuckin loved Candyman ‘21. Extremely into how the movie handled its queer characters too.

I can’t wait to see what Nia DaCosta does next.

Like, damn girl.

— Bryan Miller (@bmiller808) August 28, 2021

the way candyman (2021) is a queer horror movie

— ratcatcher II defense league (@astr0ro) August 31, 2021

Couple of hours removed from CANDYMAN.

Forgot to flag up the welcome queer representation through a lively Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.

Loved that the film dabbled in politics of an informed queer POC/white privileged guy relationship + how the latter needs to scrub up on history. pic.twitter.com/SzOwTTqo4G

— Darryl Griffiths (@LegallyBOD) August 30, 2021

The film has proven hugely popular with straight and cis audiences too – critics have heaped praise on it for its innovative approach to storytelling and its powerful, passionate performances.

Speaking to Shock Ya! about his role in the film, Kaminsky said he and Stewart-Jarrett met a couple of times before they started filming Candyman so they could make sure they were depicting an authentic, loving gay couple.

“We talked about their background and history, so that when we got to set, the characters seemed very lived in, and that was a really important part of the process,” Kaminsky said.

He also heaped praise on his on-screen boyfriend, adding: “Nathan is a brilliant actor. He made me laugh so much that it was hard to stop laughing while I was on set.

“He made me feel so comfortable, and like I said, he’s incredibly talented. Feeding off of his energy inspired a lot of the choices that I made.”

Candyman is in cinemas now.


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