Fans as a whole are just stupid. We always have been but now we have a platform like never before to express our disagreement, displeasure or down right hatred for something we don’t agree with in a movie or television show. It is past the point of nauseam and it is timely that someone attacked that toxic fandom.
Jordan Peele has dealt with different social issues with his two films he has directed in Get Out and Us. This time he is not only resurrecting a horror icon by producing the new Candyman through his Monkeypaw banner but will be tackling a growing epidemic in the entertainment culture of fan outrage and the way it is expressed.
The original Clive Barker film was set in present day 1992, as a grad student explored local myths and legends about a killer called The Candyman who was said to be a former slave with a hook for a hand and was lynched for having a relationship with a white woman centuries before. She accidentally summons him by using the mythological spell of repeating the word “Candyman” five times into a mirror.
Resurrecting the cult hit is exciting enough for horror fans, but how Peele and company intend to deal with toxic fandom is still up in the air. Creative Director of Monkeypaw, Ian Cooper, has stated that the reboot will deal with that topic and how problematic the issue has become in recent years. Said Cooper:
We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that. I think my issue with fandom is that it’s really problematic. It’s probably the most problematic thing facing the genre. It typically comes with a dogma that is abrasive and that is more resistant to change and permutation than you would think. I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film, but also be very satisfying.
The idea of toxic fandom has gained a lot of steam in recent years especially when it comes to the film industry and its creatives but is a problem among the general public as well. From the outrage to the new Stars Wars, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, Sonic the Hedgehog and the list goes on and on, but fans have dug their heels in to take extremely strong stands to make their voices (tweets) heard. Hashtags have been forced to trend, petitions have been signed and fans have even gone as far as personal attacks to voice their displeasure. The concept has gotten so extreme that some stars and filmmakers have been the target of relentless trolling and verbal attacks.
I cannot imagine how different our entertainment history would have been with social media around to alter certain creative choices, but that is a whole other article. It’s unclear how Peele and crew plans to intertwine this concept into the horror story about murderous former slave with a hook for a hand, but I’m interested see how this shakes out. Cinema and television are here to simply entertain us, sometimes inform us and at times to give us levity or an escape for a couple hours. Certain people (the vocal minority) have insisted on making it their own personal platform to make sure they are satisfied with every minute detail or there is hell to pay. There is plenty in the industry and on my screen that I don’t agree with or simply don’t like, and you know what I do? I go on living my life. We all have opinions and I welcome differing ones because that makes life more entertaining. Sharing them is never the problem, but the way some go about it is. Will Peele make a difference by broaching this subject? I have no idea, but if it gets one person to reevaluate their fandom then I am all for it.
What do you guys think of this issue and it being tackled in a horror film? Smart move by Peele or opening a door for more criticism? Let me know what you think!