The titular boogeyman is back in the horror spotlight with Candyman, which is available in theaters. While the Candyman legend arose from tragedy (and is based on a Clive Barker story), it has a lot in common with another well-known urban legend, Bloody Mary.
This Week Stream 5 Urban Legend Horror Films
With either, staring into a mirror while chanting their name will bring them to you, along with your doom. This is the kind of stuff that makes urban legends great fodder for horror films. As a result, this week’s “Stay Home, Watch Horror” streaming options are all about urban legends, some of which are based on true stories and others which are made up. All of them contribute to the thrills of horror.
Kandisha – Shudder
While out graffitiing, a group of teenagers discovers the word “Kandisha” behind peeling wall coverings. It’s the name of a spiteful Moroccan ghost who, when summoned by uttering her name five times aloud, slays men. When one of the teenagers is assaulted by her ex, she summons Kandisha, who then unleashes a deadly curse that will kill all men in the area unless they can stop it. This supernatural slasher may not be groundbreaking, but its characters, a fantastic-looking creature, and some bone-crushing, ultra-violent killings keep you entertained. This slasher entity is vicious, as evidenced by the emphasis on ultra-violence.
Madman – Pluto TV, Tubi
This 1981 slasher was inspired by the Cropsey urban legend in New York, but it altered gears after learning of The Burning’s competing production. As a result, the tale of Madman Marz arose. This slasher begins with a campfire story and song, explaining that Madman Marz murdered his family with an ax and that calling his name will summon the killer. What happens when a cocky camper tries to put the story to the test by summoning Madman Marz? As one might expect, a slaughter erupts.
Triangle – Kanopy, Peacock, Pluto TV, Roku, Tubi, Vudu
Jess, a frantic single mother invited along on a day yachting vacation, is played by Melissa George (The Amityville Horror, Turistas). The boat capsizes due to a violent storm, forcing the passengers to seek shelter on a passing ocean liner. Except for a burlap disguised shooter set on picking them off, the ship seems eerily empty. The feeling of déjà vu kicks in, adding layers to this twisting story that keeps you wondering. Christopher Smith (Black Death, Severance) draws inspiration for his ocean liner-set slasher turned claustrophobic time loop thriller from the Bermuda Triangle and the Greek myth of Sisyphus.
Absentia – AMC+, Shudder, Tubi
Mike Flanagan, the writer/director, draws inspiration for his creepy ghostly drama from a few urban legends concerning tunnels and trolls. Callie, a recovering addict who comes to visit with her pregnant sister Tricia, is played by Flanagan regular Katie Parker (Courtney Bell). Tricia is finally ready to accept that her missing husband has died, but then Callie comes across a strange man in an empty tunnel and is taken aback by the fact that she can see him. It’s the start of a chain of weird events emanating from the tunnel, including an unwitting supernatural bargain struck by Callie. Leave it to Flanagan to use urban legend to explore sorrow in a frightening and unsettling way.
The Wretched – Hulu
Ben (John-Paul Howard) is still coming to terms with his parents’ recent divorce, making a summer vacation with his father in a small coastal village tense and awkward. Then Ben discovers something strange occurring next door: something wicked has taken over a woman’s skin and is preying on the children of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, no one believes Ben. The Wretched, written and directed by Brett and Drew T. Pierce (Deadheads), combines Rear Window and urban mythology to create a nasty witch based on Boo Hag and Black Annis tradition.
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