Review: Hard Candy

Ellen Page updates the Red Riding Hood look in Hard Candy
Ellen Page updates the Red Riding Hood look in Hard Candy

Thonggrrrl14 , aka Hayley, agrees to meet Lensman319, aka Jeff, at a local coffee shop. They head back to his pad, the 14-year-old and the mature photographer, where Hayley drugs Jeff, ties him up and prepares to wreak some overdue revenge on behalf of all the other poor girls who have ever been hoodwinked and then abused by someone who should know better. First threatening to castrate him following procedures she learnt online – see how the internet gives but also takes? – she then spends a good amount of time messing with his head, in scenes which should be punctuated with reminders to breathe. Which way is this thriller going to play out? It’s a two-hander with remarkable 17-year-old Ellen Page as Hayley. Patrick Wilson is similarly impressive as the perp – though his agent probably isn’t pushing the film to the top of Wilson’s resumé. Hard Candy must have cost the price of a few takeaway sandwiches but is an assured switch for director David Slade from pop promos for Stone Temple Pilots and Aphex Twin into grown-up (if that’s not an inappropriate term here) drama. The film itself has an interesting arc. As already suggested, it starts out as a movie about a paedophile, then switches focus from him to her, becoming a revenge movie in the process, before finally switching again, becoming something of a plea for more intervention by the authorities – how come this sort of shit is going on – sort of thing. But also, en route to its grisly finale, the film does something odd – it starts to make us feel sorry for the poor, confused, hormonally driven loser guy. That, surely wasn’t the intention.

© Steve Morrissey 2006

 

Hard Candy – at Amazon

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Hard Candy (2005) Drama, Thriller | 1h 44min | 28 April 2006 (USA) 7.1
    Director: David SladeWriters: Brian NelsonStars: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra OhSummary: After having online chat room chats for three weeks, "Thonggrrrl14" convinces "Lensman319" to meet in person in a public place, they being up front that they are a fourteen year old girl and thirty-two year old man respectively. They are indeed precocious fourteen year old Hayley Stark and thirty-two year old photographer Jeff Kohlver. Their interactions, including their meeting, are laced with indirect sexual innuendo, most specifically on Hayley's part, although Jeff is clear also in an indirect manner that he does not have sex with minors. Regardless, Hayley is further able to convince Jeff to continue their face-to-face at his place. There, both Hayley and Jeff's true intentions come to light, their meeting which was no accident on either side, and the intentions which may be incompatible and have serious and deadly consequences. Written by Huggo

    Photos


    See all photos >>

  • Archive Posts