Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Hard Candy

Its an engrossing thriller that will keep you strapped into your seat. A stellar performance by Ellen Page highlight the movie’s morally gray plot, which makes for an absorbing cat and mouse game. But after confusing the audience throughout the movie in who’s really the innocent and the victim, it takes a serious topic and ends with nothing to say.

The movie opens up with what would happen if Chris Hansen doesn’t intervene. A flirtatious chat between an underage girl and an older guy then a meet up, which eventually ends up with the girl at the guy’s bachelor pad.

Hayley, an underage girl, meets up with a 30 something fashion photographer that she’s been chatting with in the internet. Jeff looks harmless but his presence there doesn’t make him less of a creep either – casually wiping off the chocolate from her lips with his thumb and kissing her feet. But Hayley’s flirting too and with her suggestion they go to his place.

Things take a sudden turn as Jeff finds himself tied to a chair,  and Hayley suddenly flips out into some victim avenging torturer. At the start Hayley tries to find out if Jeff had anything to do with a disappearance of a girl whose picture was found in his collection, but the movie trails off from this pursuit and turns into a torture movie with a cat and mouse game that turns progressively vague. Jeff is a pedophile but you don’t really know the extent of his crimes. Hayley is a vigilante bordering on being a psychopath. There are times that she’s actually more scary (being able to manipulate Jeff and psychologically torture him all throughout the film) and some people would probably even root for Jeff because of this.

In the end we know nothing more of what we already saw. Jeff’s crimes is still undetermined. While Hayley proclaims to be the avenger of every girl he has taken advantage of, she doesn’t care whatever the extent of his involvement is, which we still don’t know.

The ending is quite pointless and make it seem like pedophilia is just used as a jumping off platform to stage a torture film, but its ambiguity will stay with you. Up to know I still don’t know who really was the predator and the prey. Overall its a powerful, controversial film, but won’t exactly fit everyone’s taste.

My Rating: 7/10

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