Tony Todd did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular role in Candyman.
This is not a knock against Tony Todd in the role as the ghostly monster who you summon by repeating his name in the mirror so many times. Now I should clarify there can be some entertainment to be had from the second half of this film, it is just the first half suggests the sort of horror film that really gets under your skin rather than the more routine one that follows after. Tony Todd's initial appearance though actually suggests the better path as he appears from a distance in what is a rather chilling scene. Although Todd at 6'5'' is a rather menacing figure to begin with, and that bloody hook does not exactly hurt things in this regard, Todd's performance does take this even further. In this scene he carries an eerie presence that is far more off-putting than if he was just playing it as some overt psychotic. Todd instead plays it as though he this higher being of some sort, though this higher being that desires a death sacrifice. His gaze has a murderous glint in his eyes, yet it seems to look even beyond that as a force beyond the earth. Todd's voice, which needs to be said is an amazing voice to begin with, though takes it even further. Again he does not just go for an overt evil routine instead there is almost a certain allure he brings within his delivery that makes the Candyman a tempter, even while he does not hide the terrible result that would be at the end of that temptation.
After that initial scene though the film becomes far less creative in its use of the titular character. He mostly shows up, says something cryptic, kills someone, then leaves. Now to be fair though Todd's approach in itself is never the problem. His performance remains compelling to at the very least a certain extent as he does so effectively realizes the enigmatic nature of the being. The film though overuses and misuses his performance. It slowly peels away what made him so effective in the first scene till the end where he just has basically lost all his mystery. Unfortunately the trick Todd pulls itself loses its luster and he cannot adjust to something that maintains the sort of horror wonder of the character when he starts flailing around like just any other horror villain. In the end it is the film that is frustrating one not Todd however a part of that frustration comes in how it ends up wasting this performance. From that opening scene one can see the potential for a truly remarkable creation of a different type of terror by Todd, unfortunately the film settles just for a tall guy with a pointy weapon.