Hard Candy Review
Written by: Ash's missing hand
"Hard Candy" is a movie against pedophilia, but its feelings about S&M aren't as clear. It is about a 14-year-old girl who meets a 32-year-old pedophile on the internet, gets herself invited to his home, and quickly has him tormented and helpless.
Jeff (Patrick Wilson) is a photographer who hangs out in chat rooms. He strikes up a friendship with Hayley (Ellen Page), that is predatory in nature. She meets him in a coffee shop and suggests they go to his home. She mixes him a drink and he passes out and wakes up tied to a chair and later a table.
Hayley is a calm, confident, intelligently methodical girl who tells Jeff she is going to castrate him. She has medical textbooks to guide her through it and tells Jeff to look on the bright side, "you'll only have to go through this once". Before she carries out her threat, she tells Jeff that she has followed him into other chat rooms and suspects him in the disappearance and death of a young girl. She explores his home and finds his porno stash.
I will leave it for you to discover how the movie unfolds. Sandra Oh shows up briefly as a curious neighbor, but most of the movie simply involves Hayley and Jeff talking. Do you approve or disapprove of what she is doing to him? The evidence against him mounts and he admits to a good deal of it. The movie, though, is not as clear as it seems. Is Hayley getting some kind of pleasure out of torturing Jeff? Are they both perverts?
"Hard Candy" is a very effective and impressive film. The creative forces involved in this film all have, based on their work here, extremely bright futures. The most credit goes to Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson whose work in this film is extraordinary, especially Ellen Page. This is a fascinating film.