“Candy Land” plays out like a true-crime documentary that you leave midway, right before you get to the motives of the murderer. Nevertheless, it was rather engaging, and while there seemed to be some disconnected events, it all made sense if you looked at the message that the movie was trying to send. “Candy Land” is the story of a few prostitutes, and through its characters, it makes us reconsider the moral lens through which we judge the profession. The film doesn’t preach; it simply lays out all the cards, which is enough for us to challenge our views. A recent series we watched, “Sky Rojo,” toed similar lines, but while that showed us the ugly side of prostitution, where the women were forced into it, it looks like in Candy Land, the characters have chosen this job, forcing us to consider it with an ethical view. We will elaborate more on that in our summary, so let’s get into the events of the film now.
How Does Remy Carry Out Her Mission?
“Candy Land” starts with Sadie, Liv, Riley, and Levi going about their jobs when they are visited by what we understand to be a “church on wheels,” where a man named Theo tries to tell the women to repent their actions so that they are allowed the “final cleansing”. Needless to say, the women are less than impressed, and they drive him away with their inappropriate sarcasm and jokes. Later, once the day is over, we see that Sadie is probably not happy with her job. It doesn’t look like she has been coerced into it, but hey, job dissatisfaction is a thing, no matter where you work or what you do. It is just that this job comes under a lot of moral policing, so the sting is a little deeper. As for the others, it looks like Levi is often picked up by Rex, the local Sheriff. Levi is not too fond of Rex, who doesn’t seem to know how to take “no” for an answer. Considering the operation they run and the fact that Rex is in a position of authority, Levi is forced to oblige each time.
All of them are visited by Remy, the girl who was with Theo when he came to meet them. Remy doesn’t tell the girls what has happened to her, but they still help her by taking her in and giving her a place to stay temporarily. She shares the room with Riley and Sadie and discovers that the two of them are lovers. She looks frightened throughout and doesn’t let go of her cross at all. The scene suggests that, due to her religious background, she is uncomfortable with her setting. The next day, when they all go out for breakfast, she asks them how they do what they do. It is an important scene because each one of them makes it clear that they do it for the money. This is the reason we kept saying that their job looked more like a choice than a compulsion. Riley and Sadie admit to being together but claim that they are okay with what the other has to do for the job. As for Levi, he says that he likes men and women both. In front of a religious Remy are homosexuality, prostitution, and “infidelity,” each of which is a sin according to the teachings of the church. The discomfort is evident on Remy’s face, but what looks like the start of gaining a wider worldview turns into something sinister soon enough.
A man with a slit throat had been found in one of the bathrooms stalls the day Remy had come to the girls looking scared and uncomfortable. While the investigating officer, that is, Rex, initially suspected Riley as she was the one to discover him, he ruled her out as a possibility soon enough when her story checked out.
Back in the present, with it looking like Remy would stay with the group, Nora approaches her and tells her that she should start working with them if she wants to continue staying. To be honest, we felt a little angry with Nora for doing this to a girl who was obviously very scared. But if we think about it in retrospect, Remy did not utter a single word of protest or even doubt. She looked hesitant but willing, which was a shock to us. What could have really happened to make her go to such lengths? We find out soon enough. But before that, there is a scene in which Levi is sexually assaulted by a customer, and he kills him in retaliation and self-defense. While he is traumatized, Rex steps up to take care of the situation, but he also confesses his feelings to Levi and tries to make a move on him. Levi is angry and yells at him to hold himself back, at least that day. While Rex stops, it is evident that he feels entitled to Levi and is angry with him for his protests. We wondered for a long time what the purpose of such a scene could have been. How did it serve the greater purpose of the story? The answer came to us later when we saw Remy go on her rampage. Levy was how we got to see our own skewed morality and the way it is the seemingly good people who have no sense of right or wrong. Another example of this is Remy herself. Nora calls over a man whose job is to be with Remy for the first time. He turns out to be the father of a church. What starts off as an uncomfortable scene turns into a gruesome one when we see Remy murder him.
Initially, we thought that this might have been a knee-jerk reaction, pun not intended, to an action she was still not clear about. But when Theo comes to visit her the next day, we realize that the situation is something entirely different. Theo asks her to come back and talks about how her mother had been the one to go to extremes, hinting at a possible mental illness. But Remy calls him weak and says that she is going to continue with her mission. It becomes clear enough what it is when the first client that Remy gets kills. As if that wasn’t enough for the day, when she is cleaning up the knife in the bathroom, she runs into Liv, who becomes the next person to die at her hands. A woman who entered the bathroom and heard Liv was also killed by Remy. Remy steps out, looking unbothered, and goes on to kill her next client. The girl is deranged. She has killed five people so far that we know of, and there may have been many more in the past. It is not long before the bodies are discovered in the bathroom. Sadie and Riley are devastated, and the former starts considering how things stand for her.
‘Candy Land’ Ending Explained: Who Is Remy? Why Does She Kill Everyone?
That night, Remy goes to spend some time with Levi. While it looks innocent enough, we know by now that he is her next target. As she gets closer to him, Levi is happy, as he has liked her since the beginning. But it is probably the biggest shock when she stabs him right when he is at his most vulnerable. This is the death that broke our hearts. Levi had suffered a great deal; he did not deserve such an end. Remy continues on her rampage, and her next victim is Nora. Meanwhile, Sadie tells Riley that she wants to leave. Riley is supportive but obviously heartbroken by this. She goes to find Nora or Levi, but they don’t open their doors. As she gets more and more frustrated, she finds Remy, who ends up stabbing her.
In the room, Sadie goes through the brochure left by Theo when he first visits them outside their stop. It talks about cleansing, and we don’t think she’s connected the dots yet. But when Remy comes to visit her and tells her that the others are coming with her, she starts suspecting that something is wrong. She rushes to their rooms and finds their dead bodies. Horrified, she doesn’t know what to do when a completely deranged Remy tells her to come with her. A scared and tearful Sadie refuses, causing Remy to stab her then and there.
As Remy sits on the floor, surrounded by bodies, Rex arrives at the scene. He doesn’t suspect Sadie at all and takes her “home,” where he finds more bodies. But this is clearly not Remy’s doing. She starts crying and screaming that they were all supposed to wait for her. She runs through the entire house and finds that everyone is dead. It is dawning on Rex that Remy might have been responsible for the massacre at the motel. He asks her to stay back, but Sadie chooses to stab herself in the heart and die, to join the others wherever she believes they are going.
The ending of “Candy Land” led us to believe that Remy might have been a part of a cult rather than a church. A documentary we saw last year, titled “House of Secrets,” comes to mind, and we think that this is a similar case of communal delusion. Remy was a part of a cult that believed in cleansing the world of sin. But like her mother, Remy believed that the way to do that was to start by cleansing the world of “sinners.” We understand that her mother must have similarly murdered people, and Remy, having grown up in that environment all her life, was sufficiently brainwashed into believing the merits of that philosophy. We are guessing that after Remy finished her job at the motel, she and the rest of the cult were supposed to commit mass suicide together. She keeps talking about how she will join the “cleansed sinners” and how the members are supposed to wait for her. Evidently, the second part of her plan never materialized as she had hoped. We are not sure about the need or the philosophy behind the cult wanting to commit suicide. Maybe it was a way to escape the authorities, who would eventually track them down. This suggests that Remy was not acting by herself but on the directions of someone. While we do not think the question of “who” would be answered with a sequel, we are certainly going to take a deep dive into the subject of psychology to better understand how cults behave.
Final Thoughts: What Works For ‘Candy Land’?
“Candy Land” is one of those movies that works with the intelligence of the audience. It doesn’t explain everything because it wants the audience to draw from its knowledge of human behavior and psychology. Remy’s behavior stems from delusion, the kind that doesn’t make sense to a normal person. By not explaining the exact reason behind her actions, the writers have carried on that element of mystery and horror. Olivia Luccardi, the actress who plays Remy, does a good job of enacting the layers of her character, and it actually takes a second watch to understand how brilliantly she has captured the sinister innocence of her character. We would certainly recommend this to our friends. It is truly one of the better pieces of content from the genre in recent times.
“Candy Land” is a 2023 Drama Thriller film directed by John Swab.