Hard Candy

HARD CANDY (18)
D: David Slade
Lions Gate (Michael Caldwell, David W. Higgins & Richard Hutton)
US 2005
104 mins
 
Thriller
 
W: Brian Nelson
DP: Jo Willems
Ed: Art Jones
Mus: Harry Escott & Molly Nyman
 
Patrick Wilson (Jeff Kohvler), Ellen Page (Hayley Stark), Sandra Oh (Judy Tokuda)
 
A bullshit morality tale wrapped as a psychological thriller in which Ellen Page plays an unlikeable, smug, precocious teenager who holds a photographer hostage in his own home on the suspicions that he is a paedophile, before subjecting him to vigilante justice by way of castration.
The concept of the movie is much better than the finished product. Had the filmmakers used the rather formulaic route of presenting Page's character as a victim of abuse or underage rape, I'd have had much more sympathy for her character, instead she embodies the personification of every underage girl who has been the victim of such abuse. However, her dialogue is so glib and smart-ass, I wanted her to be the loser in this battle, especially since the guilt of her victim is left incredibly ambiguous.
Obviously, this is a very tricky subject to get correct and I really should have been on the side of the vigilante seeking justice for all the wrongdoing, but I wasn't, because her character was detestably loathsome.
The fact that this film made me feel sympathy for a suspected paedophile misses the point completely, even though I find tacits of his behaviour questionable and morally repulsive.
The 2005 film The Woodsman and a Japanese movie called Audition took on similar themes much better and more tastefully. This just feels like smug grandstanding.
4/10

Ellen Page in Hard Candy
Ellen Page in Hard Candy