Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"Hard Candy" review

Hard Candy (2005)

Directed by David Slade

Writing credits Brian Nelson

Patrick Wilson .... Jeff Kohlver
Ellen Page .... Hayley Stark
Sandra Oh .... Judy Tokuda
Jennifer Holmes .... Janelle Rogers

A guy picks up some jailbait he finds online. He wants to take her home so she can do some modeling for him. Modeling eh? Wink, wink. Soon his jailbait will turn into hard candy as she doesn’t take kindly to pervs who want to play with young girls. Much psychological drama follows as the hard candy girl wants to make sure that her captured pervert doesn’t get hard again. “Preventive maintenance.”

“Hard Candy” was a great movie. Loved it. But I’m not sure if I loved it because it was really good or if it spoke to me on a personal level. Was this a cautionary tale for me? Should I not believe what random females on the internet tell me? Speaking as a guy who has received half naked pictures in his email inbox, I could just imagine being tied to a table while a woman hovers over me with a scalpel. Maybe I need to learn from this fine film. Hmmmm…Nah. What could possibly go wrong? At least I can’t say, I wasn’t warned.

Anyway, this movie is one of the rare psychological dramas that work. It’s basically just two people talking. Ellen Page was great as the squeaky-voiced jailbait. She had that part nailed. Her portrayal of a young girl getting nervous as she tries to act mature was dead-on. I’m talking jail-BAIT. Patrick Wilson was also good as the worldly photographer who thinks he can get any girl to take their clothes off for him. You’ll have to like these characters as their conversations take up pretty much the whole movie.

“Hard Candy” also does the near impossible by making us feel sort-of sorry for the child molester. Does he really deserve all the torment that the hard candy girl has in store for him? She wants to teach him a hard lesson about picking up young girls on the internet. Parts of the movie will have you squirming but, in another amazing trick, there is no blood in this movie. Some of you harsh horror fans may be turned off when you read that but “Hard Candy” still manages to hit you with some of its scenes.

“Hard Candy” is an effective psychological horror flick. It gets you thinking about the dangers of meeting people online. Got me thinking about who the heck is emailing me. Maybe I shouldn’t believe a word they say. I wonder if they believe me…

SCORE: 4 out of 4 hard jailbaits

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