Latest posts by Jamie Spicer (see all)
- Mile 22 Review: An Example Of A Trailer Making A Film Look Better Than It Is - August 21, 2018
- Movie Review – The Blair Witch Project Review - August 2, 2018
- Classic Horror Movie Review – Alien Review - July 31, 2018
Hard Candy (9/10)
Director: David Slade
Runtime: 103 Minutes
This is a movie that I’ve had on my radar for quite some time, the idea really intrigued me. A movie where an older guy meets a much younger woman and takes her back to his home for some undisclosed acts. However, this movie flips the narrative on it’s head and actually becomes a revenge picture where we witness the younger woman strapping the man down and torturing him for the remainder of the movie. It brings up an interesting question, in this circumstance who really is the bad guy? That question lingers throughout the entire movie as we learn more about the horrendous acts this guy has put young girls through, the audience is forever questioning does he truly deserve all this punishment. It’s going to be tough to put my thoughts on the matter aside for this review, let me start of by talking about the story.
Jeff, brilliantly played by Patrick Wilson is a photographer who hangs out in teen chat rooms. He ends up striking a predatory relationship with young Hayley, play by Ellen Page. They soon meet at a coffee shop and he takes her back to his, eventually he’s strapped to a chair and the torture ensues. Hard Candy has some of the greatest performances I have seen in a long time, Ellen Page was 17 at the time of filming and she plays a 14 year old. I believe a lot of people are going to pull out her performance and say how good it was, although it is really good and by far one of her best. The stand out for me was Patrick Wilson who gives an outstanding performance, he’s so vile and deceiving at the beginning and by the end you’ll either want him to die or be rooting for him to survive. He brings so much emotion to the role and made me actually care for him despite everything that he’s done. I don’t want to shy away from Ellen Page’s performance as this is also her greatest performance she has ever given, she’s intelligent, calm, and almost methodical in her approach to the role.
I appreciate movies that use very few characters to tell it’s story, I believe there’s only 5 credited actors in this movie and I love films that are completely driven by 2 actors. Moon, Open Water and Antichrist are all brilliant films shot with a minimalistic cast. There’s actually a very small amount of actual torture in the movie, it’s very slow with it’s approach and is more about them talking and her verbally torturing and him trying to talk his way out of it. The brilliant thing this movie does is play with your mind, we know Jeff is a pedophile and he likes doing what he does, but through her actions we get a sense that Hayley is also getting her own pleasure from all this.
Hard Candy is an amazing movie. It’s an extremely effective film but also very diversive. A lot of people are going to react to this movie differently, this is a movie that gets you thinking and bring out your own personal feelings. The acting is phenomenal and I love how there’s barely any music as it only helps to add to the eerie atmosphere. My only gripe with the movie is that i’m not the biggest fan of the constant shaky cam between the fight scenes, with a movie that feels slow and plays on atmosphere it just felt unnecessary. Overall everyone is going to get a different opinion on this movie and I can see it dividing people, it’s brilliantly acted and one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time.