Hulu’s latest crime drama Candy (2022) is based on the true story of Betty Gore’s murder by Candy Montgomery in 1980.
Candy Montgomery (played by Jessica Biel) is a pillar of the community: active in her church, always serving, hosting–an ideal housewife … but also a restless one. So, she seeks excitement by reading titillating romance novels–a choice which inevitably leads her to ponder an affair.
After figuring out the logistics, she propositions her daughter’s best friend’s father, Allan (played by Pablo Schreiber). Shortly after the affair comes to end, Allan’s wife Betty (played by Melanie Lynskey) confronts Candy, and it results in a grisly axe murder. On Friday the 13th. With a newspaper on the table open to a review of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Could it be more perfect?
Over five episodes, Candy chronicles the events on the day of the murder, as well as the days leading up to it and the trial afterwards (no spoilers here, but the verdict surprised me–to say the least). The alternating timeline helps to create suspense and also keeps the Big Question forefront: Why? Candy comes across as slightly unhinged but shows nothing to give off any major warning signs. The affair itself is even portrayed as transactional. Practical. There’s nothing passionate about it. She’s just bored. If anything, Betty comes across as the unstable one. She has trouble connecting with anyone, and she can’t function when her husband travels for work. So again, Why?
And that’s what makes the story behind Candy so fascinating. And the show itself–yes, it is working with primo true crime material–is masterfully constructed. In addition to the smart pacing, the show embraces the sheer horror of this story by utilizing classic horror film aesthetics. From the music to the lighting to the camera angles, it feels like watching an ’80s slasher film–except it’s real.
Additionally, the acting is brilliant. I’m a sucker for anything with Melanie Lynskey, but other bright spots here are, of course, not only Jessica Biel but also the entire supporting cast. Plus, there is something immensely enjoyable about watching Justin Timberlake play a cop with a thick southern accent.
Although the entire mini-series is now streaming on Hulu, I recommend watching one episode a day, as it it was initially marketed–with the last episode released on Friday the 13, obviously.
80s Horror Vibes10.0/10
True Crime that is a little too perfect10.0/10
Timberlake as a Texan10.0/10
No animals are harmed10.0/10
So many questions...but mainly, WHY?10.0/10
- Creators: Robin Veith, Nick Antosca
- Series Cinematographer: Simon Dennis
- Series Musician: Ariel Marx
- Stars: Jessica Biel, Melanie Lynskey, Pablo Schreiber, Justin Timberlake
- Streaming: Hulu