30Though Hard Candy clearly believes pedophiles should be chopped into little pieces and buried in an unmarked grave, its only purpose is exploitative. Sure, it's a cautionary tale for all those sicko wolves out there, but it's nothing more than an unabashed lurk-and-dread fest.
10Tautly directed by David Slade, this drama probably offers more sadism than anyone could possibly want...The characters are absurd, but if you're up for this sort of thing, then surely you can con yourself into accepting them. Personally, I'd rather have this movie obliterated from my memory.
30During the ensuing narrative unpleasantness and visual incoherence (meaningless choker close-ups, pointless slow motion), Hayley subjects Jeff to a range of torture, all in the name of, well, what? Despite the two fine performances, it's hard to say.
MarkJ.5Hard Candy does not surprise in its ability to leave an audience shell shocked whilst failing to achieve critical acclaim. A brave narrative which revolves around the dialogue between an unbelievably psychotic teenager and a middle aged man seeking sex with minors never goes further than cliched one-upmanship which becomes as irritating as it is pointless. If your up for a shock thriller which ultimately leaves you knowing nothing more of the characters than you do after 20 minutes, then this will probably be an entertaing 90 minutes, otherwise avoid this at all costs, you'll only be left feeling cheated that you attempted to invest any emotion in what are two poorly structured and equally un-appealing characters.… Full Review »
Hard Candy is one of those films that you just have to see, one of the films that should be on an all time greatest movies list. Ellen Paige plays Haley, a 14 year old girl who is being sexually groomed by 30 something year old Jim. When Jim invites Haley back to his for a 'photoshoot' Jim gets unexpected surprise. After awakening from unconsciousness Haley explains to him that she has had her eye in him for a long time and that he should pay for his involvement for a rape and murder of a teenage girl. As Haley uncovers more secrets to Jim's past she forces him into one very tough decision.
The film is not overly bloody nor gory for the most part, even its claim to fame scene doesn't have that much blood which at times made me question the 18 certificate, especially when the film is a thriller yet it has no real heart racing moments like a thriller should. Though the acting and storytelling are top notch Hard Candy falls flat when it comes to its 'edge of your seat' moments. Despite this the film is great and should be watched by everyone… Full Review »
I watched this one because I saw it at the library and I knew it was supposed to be very interesting. Then a friend told me it was the best thing Page had done even over Juno. I was really excited to see this one. What I saw...*shudder* oh yes, *shudder*
Acting/Characters: There are only 2 people in this movie. Yes I know Sandra Oh receives top billing but it was like John Rhys-Davies in Ferocious Planet, it's just a name draw. It is just Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page interacting with each other. I must say, Ellen Page can play a total psychopath if she wants. In fact, this movie showed me that she can play whatever she wants. I had only ever seen her in Juno, Inception, and X-Men. I agree with my friend that this was the best thing she has done. Her range of emotions and delivery of her lines were spectacular I must say. Patrick Wilson did an excellent job acting with Page. But it was really her show of course. She commanded ever scene. Make no mistake, she was in charge. End of story. Thank goodness she did such an awesome job or this movie would have sucked. 9/10
Plot: The story itself is original but I don't think the idea behind it is. Role-reversal of stuff like this isn't something I've never seen. The way that they presented it and the actual story is very original as far as I am aware. I was definitely never bored. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. One scene was just so difficult to watch. Anyone who is a guy who has seen this film knows which one. Double shudder on that one. The film wasn't too long although they probably could have shaved off a few seconds here and there...maybe not I guess. It wasn't overly long is what I'm trying to say. It was engaging, not too long, and told very effectively. The theme isn't original but I don't see anything wrong with that. 8.5/10
Screenplay: I'd like to take a screenplay course someday and see if writing a screenplay for a film like this, that is to say, two or three principle actors who take up all of the screen-time in one basic space, or for a film with lots of people to write for. Whatever the case is, this one was pretty good. It really helped the actors out. it was written well enough for the really interesting bits of Page's character to come out. I don't know how hard it is to effectively write a sociopath, but they nailed it here. Very good job. 8.5/10
Likableness: I saw it, I'm glad I saw it, but it isn't a film that I'm immediately going to pop back into the good ol' laptop again to watch. It'll be a while before I see this again. It will stay with me though. it is far from a forgettable film. I found myself wide-eyed with horror throughout most of the film. This is far better than any Saw film. It leaves a lot to your imagination which just makes it all the more effective. I would suggest this one to anyone who can handle something like this. It is definitely not for the fainthearted though. especially any fainthearted guys. I liked it a lot though. 9/10
Final score: 35/40 87% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 68%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 68%
TRIVIA TIME: 1. The stunt coordinator's house served as the exterior for Jeff's house. The interiors of Jeff's house were inspired by that of producer David Higgins, who planned to shoot the film there if enough money could not be secured to build sets.
2. Both cast and crew members have denied that the costume choices for the character of Hayley were intended as a reference to the children's story 'Little Red Riding Hood.'
3. Despite the intense emotional and physical content of most rest of the movie, Ellen Page said that one of the hardest scenes to shoot by far was the scene at Nighthawks, where for take after take she had to eat more tiramisu than she could ever want.
4. The final shot of Hayley with the hoody pulled over her head was taken by the DP Jo Willems without Ellen Page knowing. She didn't know about the shot until she saw the final cut.
5. According to actress Ellen Page, the iconic red hooded shirt (which belonged to Ellen Page) used in the movie and on the posters was, in fact, orange. The color was changed in post-production.
6. Because Ellen Page shaved her head for her previous film role, during the audition she was mistaken for a boy. The effect was so off-putting she had to put on a wig, where she then gave a phenomenal reading.… Full Review »