After three weeks chatting with the thirty-two years old photographer Jeff Kohlver in Internet, the fourteen years old Hayley Stark meets him in the Nighthawks coffee shop. Hayley flirts with him in spite of the difference of ages and proposes to go to his house. Once there, she prepares screwdriver for them and Jeff passes out. When he awakes, he is tied up to a chair, and Hayley accuses him of pedophilia. Jeff denies, and Hayley begin to torture him, in a mouse and cat game.
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This film had mostly positive reviews by the major critics, and havingsome interest in the subject matter, I decided to give it a viewing.The film is basically a one act play, and very little happens that isnot predictable from watching the trailer or reading previous reviews.Most of the plot line will appeal mainly to vengeful child sex abuseactivists, who only wish such actions could be legally replicated inreal life.If viewed strictly as a piece of propaganda to deter sexual predators,the film serves it purpose. NBC's Chris Hanson, can only wish he hadthis impact in the "To Catch a Predator" TV series. Having said that,the film lacks a storyline to maintain anything beyond a passinginterest. The girl is far from the type that most men are going tochoose in an internet liason. She's far too intelligent, and herphysical appearance has a Lyndie England persona, that is bothviolently aggressive and sexually unappealing. Most men would seek asubject more easily manipulated, and possessing a higher level ofnymphet sexuality. Casting an Olson twin type, and adding some sexualforeplay into the plot, would have made the film much more interesting.As is, the film consist primarily of contrived dialog, with the twocharacters trying to prove their intellectual prowess to one another.Than there's the extended medical procedure, that is telegraphedthroughout the early parts of the movie. The scene does little to holdinterest, other than to make the viewer grit their teeth.This film does not contain the substance to make it either a good gradeB horror or sex flick. And the lack of character development does notgive it a true art/indie type quality. The sole purpose seems to be thehope that it will scare potential sex predators.
if you're into masochism, go rush out immediately and buy tickets. atwo hour reminder that Hollywood is filled with self-righteousuber-yuppies who have nothing better to do than spend a couple milliondollars essentially promoting capital punishment. the great acting inno way makes up for this sick propaganda.i guess there is a 10 line minimum for entering comments so disregardeverything i am now typing as it is here to fill up space yesexcruciating movie do not see unless you want to use it as fuel towrite angry letters to the studios insisting that they stop putting outsuch morally reprehensible crap
I'm not at all sure how I feel about this film.Specifically, I am confused about some of the motivations behind someof the characters' actions and, while I appreciate the dramatic forceof role reversal, I think that the muddied morality here could haveusefully benefited from some clarification. So, taking a step back fromthe nuts and bolts of film-making, and looking at the film on a moreabstract level, I am left somewhat unsettled.To be fair, that may have been the filmmakers' intention.Let's shift down a gear and look at the nuts and bolts.This psychological thriller (but who's the psycho?) rattles along at adecent lick, generating a fair amount of tension as it goes. Given thatit's essentially a two-hander in a single claustrophobic location,there are more than enough twists and turns to satisfy.Patrick Wilson does well, generating sympathy in a relativelyunsympathetic part, and realistically evoking the terror which anyonewatching will empathise with.But it's Ellen Page's film, and provides solid early evidence that thisyoung woman is going to be a major screen presence in the years tocome.
I have just seen Hard Candy at the Sundance Film Festival whichscreened in the 'Midnight' section of the festival.I would have to say from the outset that this film is definitely wortha 'view' but please leave your brain in the 'don't start askingquestions about the believability of the actual story' mode. The filmmaker requires the audience to believe a whole lot of implausibleactions by the lead character, Hayley. These implausibilities drags thefilm down from being a great film to good film. Simply the character ofHayley, could not physically or mentally do what see does in this film. The performance by Ellen Page (Hayley), 14 year old actress, is anincredible performance and make is this film worth a look, plus thefact that this film was projected off HD Projection and lookedincredible.
This movie is about a 32-year old male computer predator who meets a 14-year year old girl in an internet chatroom. After three weeks of chatting online, they decide to meet in real life.That's all I'll type because I don't want to spoil the movie for those who have not seen it. I watched this movie only knowing the above info I typed, so everything was a surprise for me. I found this to be one of the most disturbing and shocking films I've ever seen! It's a horror film for pedophiles and computer predators.It is also a low-budget, artsy, indy film. Don't think that it means it's a bad movie. There are a lot of movies out there just like that, that end up becoming hits because it was watched by the right person. This may not have been watched by the right person or because of the subject this flm presents may be one of the reasons why it never got the attention it deserves.It's a well made film with wonderful writing, directing and acting. The instrumental music is wonderful and the color on the screen is just beautiful.It has a real creepy atmosphere with lots of twists and turns. This is a movie that makes you think and does not tell you who the good guy is or who the bad guy is. It's not about telling you what to think. It's about making you think for yourself and you may be able to find out a lot about who you are based on what you think about this movie.I think this is the type of movie you could end up watching a few times and may discover some things you did not notice the first time.Overall, this is a pretty stressful film that will most likely upset you. I'd type that this is a great film for parents to show their young teenagers IF it was not so disturbing, however, if you really want to show some tough love and let your children know this kind of violence is out there and that they better be prepared for it, then this is actually a good movie to watch with them, but I'd watch it yourself first before deciding. It also would not hurt to watch it with them. That way you can censor this movie the way you see it if you like. You should talk to them about it between scenes maybe or after the movie. But please remember, this is not some kid-friendly after school special. It's raw, it's real, it's sick but you may end up saving your children's lives if you're bold enough to show them this. I think it's a lot better to watch pretend violence on a screen then be a victim of real violence.Be careful out there. It's a real jungle we live in outside of our doors and sometimes the internet isn't any safer.
I give this a 3 out of 10 just for a 2 seconds of accidental humor, andthe one twist which i sort of liked until the movie ended and Irealized, "Hey! That made no friggin sense." This movie isunbelievable, the actress overacts her part, and the pedophile is sucha complete friggin idiot/moron I can't even understand it. Seriously,who crawls at someone with a scalpel in plain sight. I found that morefunny and sad then suspenseful. And the Circumcision, how did she knowhe was going to escape? The bonds were obviously not meant to let himescape or he would've successfully done it the first time. There's noreal hero in the movie, just an villain, who they try and make yousympathize, and an anti-hero, who's more sadistic then anything else.For those of you who haven't seen this movie, let me put up a roughsynopsis.1. Girl and guy setting up meeting in person over instant messenger.(thats right, the first five minutes of character development is allinstant messenging...WOO....) 2. Girl and guy meet up for coffee andyou have to think this is the dumbest girl ever.3. Girl talks the guy into going back to his place to listen to somestupid no name band.4. After drinking the girl slips the guy a roofie and ties him up(thatswhere they present the fact he's some kind of child molester/kiddieporn peddler) 5. Guy tied to a rolling chair, watches as girl ramblesfor what seems like ever finally getting to the conclusion she's goingto trash his house looking for evidence against him.6. During the search girl finds a loaded gun under the bed and sets iton top.7. She finds his safe and gets the combination, the guy watches as sheopens it and when she gets close enough he kicks her in the head. (thescene is so ridiculous looking I couldn't stop laughing. Its sorta likein anchorman where jack black punts baxter.8. Guy grabs gun but as soon as he gets...sorry, rolls back into theliving room she is nowhere to be found.9. Girl jumps out of dark corner w/saran wrap and suffocates himmob-style while he misses with just one shot. (you think the neighboursdown the block would here) 10. Girl ties him to table and tells himshe's going to castrate him. This is where i see the funniest actingface in all my life. Check out the guys look when she's explaining itto him.11. During the long and drawn out scene(a lot of these in this movie)the guy is "castrated." She leaves him saying she's going to go take ashower and then leave forever.12. OK, now the guy somehow musters the strength to escape the tableand guess what? She had only put a binderclip over his balls! It wasall a ruse. Wow, I didn't know binderclips felt like castration.Anyways..13. Guy grabs a scalpel off the table and heads to the shower toum...lacerate her.14. Oh my god a step ahead of him again! Somehow she was hiding behindthe door with a tazer. Personally if it were me i would've escapedbefore I thought i'd been castrated...but thats just me.15. Anyway, she goes and uses the phone after she zaps him in the tubbut you see her walking around and this guy is in plain view, crawling(very pathetically by the way) down the hall towards her. No joke, itsthe dumbest looking thing i've ever seen.16. So she tazers him again and he passes out.17. Next thing we know he's hanging from the ceiling and she's tellinghim if he kills himself she'll destroy the evidence he found. Heproceeds to mount/strangle her and escapes from the noose. He grabs anice and chases her onto the roof where she says she's called his longlost love and if he hangs himself(conveniently a noose on the rooftoo), she'll destroy all the evidence and his old girl won't know jack.18. You know what the guy does? He hangs himself? Its the worst endingto a movie ever. You never find out what the girls real name is, shejust wanders off in this red pseudo-red riding hood outfit. Only timeyou see it in the whole movie. This is a film which should'vedefinitely been left for Lifetime. Only the bipolar could trulyappreciate it. Anyways, hope you enjoyed my review. Please god, don'twatch this.
If you like movies that advocate for psychopath vigilante style tortureand murder, and where the psychopath vigilante gets away with it thenHard Candy is for you. Especially when the psychopath vigilante isdriven by a hypocritical philosophy of life, acting on no evidencewhatsoever but only self-deluded narrow-minded suspicions. Hard Candyis designed for the feminists, and man-haters alike will love thisfilm. After a very intriguing set up the film fails to deliver and is aHUGE disappointment for the general public. As no motive is revealedfor the actions of the vigilante, nor is there enough depth shown intothe victim and as to his motives for wanting to extract revenge and notjustice.
This movie blew me away, the contextual elements, the plot andcharacters. A beautifully well acted Ellen Page did her job well byplaying this troubled "isane" girl. The story and scenes areconstructed well , it isn't one of those movies that is very slow topick up pace. The setting of the photographer's house also did justiceto this movie. Some scenes are very intense, especially one scene hint"gastration" really made me cringe in my seat. This is movie for allviewers who like to be questioned, the movie has so many questions tobe answered especially at the end. A good movie to watch , it certainlylived up to my expectations
This review is from: Hard Candy (DVD) This movie was totally different than what I expected, but it turned out to be a good thing. At times I was left wondering which one of the main characters was the most twisted. The acting was top rate, and it is a movie well worth the time to watch.
Actually, don't let my two-star rating mislead you: The acting is verystrong in this film, but the story and plot are so utterly andatrociously defective, misguided and self-gratifying as to render theentire exercise pointless and the viewer wholly unfulfilled.When you begin to wish death on the leading character within 20 minutesof the film's exposition, you become aware that you're consumed notwith the story, but the protagonist's (read: antagonist's) immediateand violent demise.When I saw Page in "Juno" I thought she acted too old for thecharacter's age; too self-assured and mature. In this case (now playinga 14-year-old) the disparity between age and behavior/language is evengreater.And when this little 14-year-old behaves as if the likelihood of herbeing caught is a patent impossibility (as if instructed by the script)and is always--and without exception--a step ahead of a seeminglycautious and highly intelligent adult, one can only question thescriptwriter.This film disallows suspension of disbelief. A colossal and unmitigatedfailure of film-making.***SPOILER ALERT***1. How does she find the man in an otherwise anonymouschat room in the first place?2. How does she move his limp body, notjust onto a chair, but onto a table? Let alone hanging from a crossbeam? Beyond absurd.3. How does she not electrocute herself with the stun gun if both arecovered in water from the shower?4. Where did she learn to handle agun so deftly (you can read about gun skills on the web all you want,but actually holding and operating a heavy pistol is another matter)?5. Do you think a pedophile would be stupid enough to "hide" a safe inhis coffee table and be such an insufferable fool as to use his chatroom handle as the code?Brian Nelson (the screenwriter): SHUT UP.
This review is from: Hard Candy [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) Great . . . . This is an Excelent Product . . . 100% Recommended . . . . .
The movie was marvelously, subtly, powerfully, and wickedly scriptedand acted, so we believe until close to the end that a great injusticeis occurring, though the moral justification for it shifts as we go,and we're whipsawed deciding which of the two characters is committingit, or has done so. When the situation finally clarifies for theaudience (because a character behaves apparently out of char5acter,until we grasp its significance), the intense mind faking ends and theplot moves into the merely melodramatically improbable. Then ends onsuch an improbability, given the character as portrayed, driven by thinpseudo logic that unfortunately strips much of the earlier action ofmeaning, and leaves lots of loose ends the final shot pretends aren'tthere. Too bad. Difficult to watch for 4/5 of it, because so well conceivedand made, so tensely convincing. Then difficult to watch at the veryend because so merely hokey. A pity.
I'm not going to rehash the plot. You can read that in other peoplesposts.All I'd like to say is that the two-person thriller has some of thebest psychological play in a long time. There hasn't been a moviesince, well ever, that your torn between who to side with. Are you forPage's character or Wilson? Is this act justified or is it cruel andunusual punishment? In the end your almost left with a bad taste inyour mouth of how it all went down. But days later your still thinkingabout those images (well mostly haunted about the scene with thescalpel).As for the presentation, David Slade almost has an "Aronofsky-esque"touch to the scene. The changing colors, from hues of blue, red andwhite to make the audience feel what Wilson's character is feelingduring his interrogation.Good work overall, albeit nearly impossible to happen in real life.Unless you lie like Hayley, then anythings possible.
This review is from: Hard Candy (DVD) Whether you love it, or loath it, one thing that I think most people can agree with is that "Hard Candy" signals the arrival of a major new talent... Ellen Page, co-staring as "Hayley Stark," alongside Patrick Wilson's "Jeff Kohlver." For someone so young - only 15 or 16 when she made this - Page's performance is astonishing. One minute she's a fumbling and embarrassed teen almost out of her depth on her first date with an older man, the next, a terrifyingly twisted and disturbed angel of vengeance, determined to visit bloody retribution on a man she accuses of being a pedophile, and possibly even a murderer. This basic scenario is given to us up-front in the film's marketing material, and in the Amazon review above; I'm guessing that the filmmakers thought they HAD to give away the old-switcheroo at the outset, otherwise, how many people would go to the theatre to see a film about a pedophile stalking a 14yr old girl?! The initial meeting between Hayley and Jeff at the Nighthawks CafÃ© - a kind-of Starbucks knock-off but without the Internet access! LOL! - is masterfully handled, especially by Page. It's almost as if she isn't acting at all, in an extraordinarily nuanced performance, the body language, the flickering and uncertain expressions, the fumbled gestures and words are so natural that you really believe you're looking at a young girl barely into her teens. And that's quite a trick, considering that we KNOW she's going to transform into the teen-psycho-slasher-babe-from-Hell in a very short period of time! And lest you think this review is turning into a fully paid-up member of the Ellen Page fan club - LOL! - let's NOT forget Patrick Wilson's performance as Jeff. Wilson has an incredibly tough job to do here; we the audience suspect, we think we know, that he IS the monster Hayley will soon accuse him of being, but we can't be sure, so we have to be able to sympathize with Jeff, at least to a degree, and Wilson's performance compliments Page's beautifully. In this initial meeting, after weeks of on-line chatting, Jeff is smooth, urbane, cultured and sophisticated, as Haley says, "You really just don't look like kind of guy who needs to meet girls over the Internet." In fact, Jeff, a successful fashion photographer, is so hip and so cool that he even drives one of those funky new Mini Coopers around town. But something dark and edgy hides just beneath the surface, and we get a glimpse of that in his reply to Hayley's previous compliment, "...When you work as a photographer you find out real quick peoples faces lie." "Does my face lie?" is Hayley's guileless response. After this initial set-up the action quickly moves to Jeff's house in the LA hills via a vaguely unsettling scene where, at Hayley's urging, Jeff gets down on his knees and "worships" her in the parking lot. There's also a nicely edited sequence where we see Hayley's steely resolve peeking out for the first time from behind the "cute" exterior in a self-satisfied smile to herself as they wind their way through the hills. To say that Jeff AND Hayley both harbor secrets is putting it mildly! Once they arrive at Jeff's home, which doubles as his photographic studio, things take a very serious turn for the worse - for Jeff! - and it's here that the film really takes off, and spends the majority of its 100+ minute running time. To say that things become intense is an understatement; the majority of the film is just Hayley and Jeff on screen together, figuratively and metaphorically tearing each other to pieces, the camera follows them around, prowling through the house in extended takes reminiscent of Hitchcock's "Rope." Jeff finally understands that things aren't going as, he planned, when he wakes up from one-too-many Screwdrivers tied to a chair with a shirt over his head. His oh-so-cute and beguiling ingenue is nowhere to be seen, having been replaced by a brittle and explosively violent whack-job stridently accusing him of being a child molester! I won't go into what happens next as many other reviews have already covered that, some, in fact, appear to fixate on Hayley's proposed act of "preventative maintenance" as if that's all there is to the film, but once again, just as in the opening scenes at Nighthawks, what makes this work for me are the masterful performances. Hayley veers, frighteningly, between barely controlled anger, sneering contempt, feigned concern, and seething rage that boils to the surface repeatedly. One of the most telling scenes for me is one where Jeff almost escapes, and after barely managing to subdue him, Hayley turns her rage and anger at losing control of the situation, against herself... ouch! When Jeff is initially faced with Hayley's accusations of pedophilia and maybe even murder, he reacts in the only way he can, blustering self-righteous denial and outrage at the very suggestion. But as his situation becomes progressively worse, as Hayley digs ever deeper into his secret world, and lets him know what she intends to do, he desperately tries to find a way to "get through" to her. As a professional photographer he's used to being in control of situations, of communicating his ideas and wants to the models he shoots, of getting under their skin, to see what makes them tick, so that he can draw that ever elusive "something" out into the open and capture it on film. But Hayley is more than a match for him, she contemptuously throws his attempts at empathy back in his face, 'til he's reduced to whining, blaming others to justify his own past actions, and ultimately begging her not to destroy him. These scenes are strong meat, emotionally draining, and lead, via the much-talked about "maintenance" sequence - which IS squirm inducing! - to an inevitable and nihilistic ending. I'm not saying that the resolution to the film is telegraphed or easy to spot - I didn't see it coming 'til it was too late, as it were - but given the set-up and the situation the characters find themselves in, there was no other way to finish the story, and to that end it is, to my mind, eminently satisfying. Mind you, as much as I obviously thoroughly enjoyed "Hard Candy," the film is not without its flaws; one particular scene of Hayley manhandling an unconscious Jeff had me thinking "No WAY!" and some of the situations do feel somewhat forced and contrived. Ultimately though, and whatever its drawbacks, the two stellar central performances by Page and Wilson, as the terribly damaged Hayley and Jeff, are what bring me back to this film again and again. If you're anything like me those performances will keep you riveted to the screen, unable to look away, 'til the last image fades to black.
I would give it a 1/10, but I do admit the visuals for a low budgetmovie and the acting was actually quite good. but when you have allthat with a horrible plot, or better yet a hard-to-achieve plot, thatwas horribly executed.You get talented chickens running around withtheir heads cut off.When she questioned him about why he treated girls of older agedifferently then her under different screen names. That is where themovie started to get out of hand to me. You don't rely on someone beinguntruthful on the internet as evidence. Hope you know Mr.director, guyson the internet will tell a different dick size to each girl on theinternet and probably tell each one different of what they do for aliving. Its the damn internet. The fact that a good, more then half ofthe movie was a charming man arguing with a precocious young girl thathe was a pedophile or not just made me think, well obviously this dudehas to be one. no one goes out their way to trick you, meet you, andthen castrate you for something they "think" you are. The morals ofthis movie was slightly skewed and didn't make a whole lot of logicalsense. It was just assumptions and theories thrown out at both thecharacters like, "all men delete their kiddy porn after seeing".OMG,*gasp* that is so true little girl. You are so correct you probablynow work for Chris Hansen.The fact that the movie went no where and forced itself to haveunnecessary events for an insignificant conclusion really killed it forme. It would of been better as a short film.
If you are not put off by the subject matter of the plot, you will beengrossed with this superbly written, acted and directed movie. I had no knowledge of this movie going into watching it and got takenfor a surprising ride.I would compare the suspense and dialog in this movie to:"Death and the Maiden" with subtle hints of very dark comedy from films like:"Rope" and "Swimming with the Sharks"Don't watch previews and enjoy a great movie that will keep you engagedas the secrets of the characters and plot get revealed.
Hard Candy is essentially a better version of Death and the Maiden.However, it is far more exciting and far more thrilling and riveting.Patrick Wilson is appropriately creepy as Jeff, the unassuming guy nextdoor who looks like he wouldn't harm a fly. Ellen Page is the one whotruly carries the film as Haley, the smart calculating mastermind whoattempts to expose Jeff for what he really is. I have seen this movielike a hundred times, and it is still thrilling and exciting eventhough i know what happens. When a movie is like that, you know itsgotta be good and destined to be a masterpiece. Script, acting anddirecting all are Oscar potential. Check it out for yourself, if you'rebrave enough
I just finished watching Hard Candy and it made me sick to my stomach.But why that is, is for me to know and you (a viewer of this movie, tobecome) to find out. The plot is original, cast promising, sceneryauthentic, camera-work brilliant and direction superb. So in terms of amovie being good as a movie, this is a really good one.Of like and kind, this is another one of those desperation and'corneredness' type of movies where the viewer finds him/herself tryingto desperately yell out something in order for it to affect the furtherdevelopment of the plot, which does eventually start dragging just alittle bit, making the desperation part especially cruel.Hard Candy has some minor anti-logic mistakes and here and there youstart to wonder, why would she do that in the first place? All-in-allthough this piece manages it's goal; it manages to deliver a point, getyou thinking, further your point of views; and that's what movies aresupposed to be about! Psychological. Crazy. Rogue. Watch it. 8/10
Great movie...Strong story line with nice surprises that keeps you guessing as the movie goes on.During the movie you are burning to know what is the truth and trust me you leave the movie theatre not feeling sure if you know the answer.This is a disturbing movie without any graphics, almost and that makes it even more creepy and stronger. Just the sound of what happens in the scene is enough to feel butterflies in your stomachThe young actress is a phenomena that based on David Slave truly beleived in this role and she is so good, so unbeleivably good for such a role...I am sure anyone who sees this movie, will look at online chatting differently and will be more cautious as what they get themselves into...Creepy, disturbing but a good one provided that you like such stuff! :)
I just saw this film and enjoyed it for several reasons but I don'tthink it plays so well to an audience. A couple of people walked outwith in the first half hour as you begin to feel uncomfortable. Thisfilm tackled the idea very particularly in that it made the rapistsomewhat sympathetic. Through the story you don't SEE what makes himsuch a bad person; we don't see photographs and he never makes a solidmove on the girl, yet throughout the film you feel like giving him thebenefit of the doubt. Instead you question her character because shewas the deceitful one; maybe she's wrong about him and he didn't killthe missing girl. Even when he "sincerely" says he has no porn we wantto trust him. The story wants to draw you in so that you can believethese things with the intention of making the audience understand howit feels to be "charmed" by this guy. The film appears very gruesome without showing a single gruesome image.In a way we don't want to see these things. You hear about eventsinvolving molested children but over countless films that tackle theissue it never gets comfortable; as it shouldn't. BUT we need tounderstand these things. Hayley almost appears to be a fairytalecharacter along the lines of little red riding hood. We never see whatJeff really did and therefore in the end you don't really feel any kindof satisfaction. In my opinion this film does not intend to present uswith real characters or an actual situation because we can understandhow far-fetched Hayley's character can be. I felt the film intended topresent us with a thought process, and/or an impression of an illusionthat is meant to inspire us to take our own subsistence intoconsideration.