Indie, Movies, The 500 Film Challenge, The Good Stuff, Thriller Shocker

#429: Hard Candy

6 May 2011

 Ellen Page always gives out a kick-ass performance as shown in this film and in hr 2006 Oscar winning performance in Jason Bateman’s Juno. Two years before Juno, she opted to shave her head and play the role of a girl who’s just shaved her head and cares no less at what people may think or see about her.

Hence, in this film she plays [yet again] a kid who meets up with a guy she chatted up with online who’s about 18 years her senior with whom she suspects is a pedophile.

 Patrick Wilson plays Jeff, a photographer whose subjects mostly incorporate women, and girls way young to be his niece. At the first part of the movie, we see the two chatting up online. Ellen plays Hayley, a fourteen year old honor student who thinks way beyond her years. After flirting up with Jeff online, she asks him if it’s okay to hook up. Jeff being slightly unaware of the way Hayley throws herself at him incessantly agrees and meets up with her at a coffee shop.


Upon “hooking up”, Hayley takes a bite out of the chocolate cake she orders, leaving a mess of chocolate in her lips. Jeff comes into the scene as if that part was a bit acted out accordingly by Hayley to see if Jeff will feel turned on by this gesture… which I think he does feel after introducing himself to her, and her introducing herself to him likewise.

Jeff invites Hayley to his home. Hayley never forgets to mention the fact that out of 5 doctors, 4 of them thinks she’s insane. Jeff thinks perhaps that Hayley’s just playing coy and doesn’t really mean what she just said. As soon as they get to Jeff’s home, Jeff shows her some of the photographs he’s taken including one for a woman named Janelle. Hayley asks him if he’s aware of the legal boundaries there is for taking photographs of women and girls being exposed in this kind of form. Jeff says that he is aware. Hayley though insists that he might want to do them deep inside. Jeff admits that the only girl he wanted since he was young was Janelle. A couple of screwdrivers after, Hayley insist that Jeff take a photograph of her like the models who throw themselves at him for a picture. She runs into his living room and strip dances for him, Jeff walks in carrying a camera to try and get a photo of her. As effect though of something Hayley put in his drink, he gets disoriented and falls. He wakes up tied up in a chair and soon begins a series of torture Hayley does to get the truth from him about his pedophilia and about a girl that is currently reported missing.

 One thing I could never fathom to do while watching this flick was to eat chocolate ice cream in a cup. Yes, in a cup and not in a cone. Or even if it was in a cone, I would never eat it. You’ll understand why when you see the fourth or third from the last torture done by Page. Although I don’t carry any balls, I don’t think I’d need a medical text to understand how difficult and how painful that torture scene might be to play. I like how Patrick Wilson played Jeff. He kept his cool for the most part of the film, was indirectly malicious and still charmingly handsome. I’ve seen this movie before on cable but I never remembered him to be playing the part of Jeff. I always thought it would either be Mark Wahlberg or Sam Rockwell would fit the part, but then again it would look assumingly possible.

The cinematography and the camera angles were great, too. The stunts, although I don’t think Ellen Page would need a double for the stunts she made on this film, were quite accurate and possible. I was bothered though how on earth would she manage to carry Patrick Wilson? I guess for that she needed help.

Anyway, I’d watch this film again and would remember it as a fantastic thriller similar to the way I felt when I watched Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. I didn’t feel cheated at all and my time was well spent just watching this. I must say as well that David Slade is now officially an expert at making me feel uneasy. Sandra Oh’s cameo was sufficient, and it wasn’t necessary for her anymore to come back after her 15 minute exposure in the film. Otherwise it would have been a completely different ending.


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