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 Hard Candy 

What grade would you give this film?
A 43%  43%  [ 10 ]
B 43%  43%  [ 10 ]
C 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
D 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
F 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
I don't plan on seeing this film 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 23

 Hard Candy 
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College Boy Z

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Hard Candy

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Hard Candy is a 2005 psychological thriller film focusing on the confrontation between an assumed sexual predator and a not so innocent 14-year-old girl.

The film, an independent production, was directed by David Slade, written by Brian Nelson, and stars Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page. It was the first feature film for Slade, who previously had worked mostly in music videos.


Mon May 01, 2006 3:55 pm
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Orphan

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Saw it over the weekend.

SPOLIER-FREE REVIEW:

Director David Slade has fashioned a stylish and creepy psychological thriller. As the creepy older guy with a fetish for young girls, Patrick Wilson is understated and effective but doesn't measure up (doing so would be almost impossible) to Ellen Page as the 14-year-old girl he brings home. She is simply phenomenal, giving a wholly assured, multi-layered, and powerful performance as Haley Stark. She is able to go from cloying sweetness to determined menace within a single scene. She's a talent to watch and is deserving of at least consideration for an Oscar nomination. Her performance alone is worth the price of admission. Only a few plot contrivances that I won't reveal keep the film from perfection.

Grade: A-


Mon May 01, 2006 4:39 pm
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Teenage Dream

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:20 am
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Fantastic film with some of the best acting I've seen all year. The entire film is essentially two people in one house, and it completely and totally hooks you in. After the first five minutes, I couldn't look away. It's entrancing in a deeply sick and disturbing way. The script is truly one of the best of the year thus far. It's always a challenge to keep the audience invested in the film when you have a dialogue heavy screenplay, but this one does. The dialogue pops and cracks. There's a great rythm and sense of timing here. The direction is fairly strong. I must say, I enjoyed the more artistic side of the style which comprised most of the runtime, as opposed to the shaky cam stuff during the action sequences. It felt out of place and kind of took me out of the picture. There's nothing I hate more than that shaky cam business. As I mentioned earlier, the acting is just phenomenal. 19 year old Ellen Page gives the performance of a life time in what will easily be one of the best turns of the year. If the academy had any balls whatsoever, she'd be given a nomination at years end. That's how good she is here.

On the downside, I felt like it had one too many false climaxs. It started to veer into complete ridiculousness after about the fifth capture/free/chase scenario.

A-

Also, I've a little theory cooking here. Lemme know what you think...

*SPOILERS*

Does anyone else think Hayley wasn't real, and just a physical manifestation of Jeff's guilt? There were several hints sprinkled throughout, I thought. If you notice, no harm is ever really done to Jeff that he didn't or couldn't have inflicted on himself.


Mon May 01, 2006 4:44 pm
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Speed Racer

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:16 pm
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Loved It.

You can read my review here- http://www.freewebs.com/moviemangtx


Mon May 01, 2006 4:45 pm
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Orphan

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:47 pm
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makeshift wrote:
Fantastic film with some of the best acting I've seen all year. The entire film is essentially two people in one house, and it completely and totally hooks you in. After the first five minutes, I couldn't look away. It's entrancing in a deeply sick and disturbing way. The script is truly one of the best of the year thus far. It's always a challenge to keep the audience invested in the film when you have a dialogue heavy screenplay, but this one does. The dialogue pops and cracks. There's a great rythm and sense of timing here. The direction is fairly strong. I must say, I enjoyed the more artistic side of the style which comprised most of the runtime, as opposed to the shaky cam stuff during the action sequences. It felt out of place and kind of took me out of the picture. There's nothing I hate more than that shaky cam business. As I mentioned earlier, the acting is just phenomenal. 19 year old Ellen Page gives the performance of a life time in what will easily be one of the best turns of the year. If the academy had any balls whatsoever, she'd be given a nomination at years end. That's how good she is here.

On the downside, I felt like it had one too many false climaxs. It started to veer into complete ridiculousness after about the fifth capture/free/chase scenario.

A-

Also, I've a little theory cooking here. Lemme know what you think...

*SPOILERS*

Does anyone else think Hayley wasn't real, and just a physical manifestation of Jeff's guilt? There were several hints sprinkled throughout, I thought. If you notice, no harm is ever really done to Jeff that he didn't or couldn't have inflicted on himself.


I thought that might be the case but I'm glad they didn't go there as doing so would have been somewhat of a cop-out. I actually expected him to wake up and we find out it was all dream. I hate endings like that.


Mon May 01, 2006 4:46 pm
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Speed Racer

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:16 pm
Posts: 192
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makeshift wrote:
Fantastic film with some of the best acting I've seen all year. The entire film is essentially two people in one house, and it completely and totally hooks you in. After the first five minutes, I couldn't look away. It's entrancing in a deeply sick and disturbing way. The script is truly one of the best of the year thus far. It's always a challenge to keep the audience invested in the film when you have a dialogue heavy screenplay, but this one does. The dialogue pops and cracks. There's a great rythm and sense of timing here. The direction is fairly strong. I must say, I enjoyed the more artistic side of the style which comprised most of the runtime, as opposed to the shaky cam stuff during the action sequences. It felt out of place and kind of took me out of the picture. There's nothing I hate more than that shaky cam business. As I mentioned earlier, the acting is just phenomenal. 19 year old Ellen Page gives the performance of a life time in what will easily be one of the best turns of the year. If the academy had any balls whatsoever, she'd be given a nomination at years end. That's how good she is here.

On the downside, I felt like it had one too many false climaxs. It started to veer into complete ridiculousness after about the fifth capture/free/chase scenario.

A-

Also, I've a little theory cooking here. Lemme know what you think...

*SPOILERS*

Does anyone else think Hayley wasn't real, and just a physical manifestation of Jeff's guilt? There were several hints sprinkled throughout, I thought. If you notice, no harm is ever really done to Jeff that he didn't or couldn't have inflicted on himself.


Thats a great theory

spoilers

one of the flaws that i overlooked in the film is how a 14 year old girl can make a 34 year old guy stand on a chair and tie him up in that fashion. A flaw i easily overlooked due to who well done the movie was, that theory would def explain that scene if it was true, but the film never really says it isnt. If im correct i do recall Hayley saying "How do you know my real name is Hayley", so who knows what she was. She couldve been what he feared the most, maybe physical manifestation of Jeff's guilt, afterall she did say she was every girl that he hurt, touched. So maybe she was never really there, maybe she was. The film leaves it up to you.

end spoilers


Mon May 01, 2006 4:53 pm
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Teenage Dream

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:20 am
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Post 
Joe -

I actually prefer the idea of Hayley being a figment of Jeff's imagination. Not a dream perse, but definitely a mental creation. I think it would have made some of the sequences more plausible, and it would have added a nice layer to the film.

Alex -

Exactly. The concept ties up a lot of loose ends. I agree it was a good decision to leave it up to the viewers interpretation. I think it's pretty clear what the filmmakers were intending, though. As you mentioned, we didn't truly know anything about her, and that line about how she was every little girl he ever hurt... that seems to be the key. It's a bit obvious, though.


Mon May 01, 2006 5:04 pm
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Orphan

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makeshift wrote:
Joe -

I actually prefer the idea of Hayley being a figment of Jeff's imagination. Not a dream perse, but definitely a mental creation. I think it would have made some of the sequences more plausible, and it would have added a nice layer to the film.

Alex -

Exactly. The concept ties up a lot of loose ends. I agree it was a good decision to leave it up to the viewers interpretation. I think it's pretty clear what the filmmakers were intending, though. As you mentioned, we didn't truly know anything about her, and that line about how she was every little girl he ever hurt... that seems to be the key. It's a bit obvious, though.


It's more frightening I think that she's real because if she was a figment of his imagination, then he really wouldn't have suffered as much as he did. I think the line about "I'm every little girl you've ever hurt" definitely gives credence to your theory but I'm glad the details were left ambiguous. There's no reason to tell us about her personal life. By not giving much detail, it more easily allows her to represent "every girl" he's ever hurt.


Mon May 01, 2006 5:09 pm
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Speed Racer

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:16 pm
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Joe wrote:
makeshift wrote:
Joe -

I actually prefer the idea of Hayley being a figment of Jeff's imagination. Not a dream perse, but definitely a mental creation. I think it would have made some of the sequences more plausible, and it would have added a nice layer to the film.

Alex -

Exactly. The concept ties up a lot of loose ends. I agree it was a good decision to leave it up to the viewers interpretation. I think it's pretty clear what the filmmakers were intending, though. As you mentioned, we didn't truly know anything about her, and that line about how she was every little girl he ever hurt... that seems to be the key. It's a bit obvious, though.


It's more frightening I think that she's real because if she was a figment of his imagination, then he really wouldn't have suffered as much as he did. I think the line about "I'm every little girl you've ever hurt" definitely gives credence to your theory but I'm glad the details were left ambiguous. There's no reason to tell us about her personal life. By not giving much detail, it more easily allows her to represent "every girl" he's ever hurt.


spoilers

I think he sufferd more if she was a figment of his imagination for the following reason.

He clearly was being traumatized and realized he was losing his mind, hence the scene when he stabs the painting and says "now i know who i am" something a long the lines of that. So if Hayley was a figment of the imagination he suffered more because he created a character to hurt himself for what he has done. Creating a character to hurt yourself isnt something you come up with in one day, but a lot of days of suffering and questioning your morals.

end spoilers


Mon May 01, 2006 6:15 pm
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The Greatest Avenger EVER
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I just read a review of this at AICN and they said this movie had a twist to it that involved SPOILER HIGHLIGHT: The kid was working for the FBI.. Any truth to this or not??


Mon May 01, 2006 10:47 pm
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College Boy Z

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:40 pm
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Reminder to self...

Don't read threads for movies you want to see.


Mon May 01, 2006 10:52 pm
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Teenage Dream

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:20 am
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BKB_The_Man wrote:
I just read a review of this at AICN and they said this movie had a twist to it that involved SPOILER HIGHLIGHT: The kid was working for the FBI.. Any truth to this or not??


Uhhh... who the fuck said that? No truth at all. None.


Tue May 02, 2006 12:09 am
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Orphan

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makeshift wrote:
BKB_The_Man wrote:
I just read a review of this at AICN and they said this movie had a twist to it that involved SPOILER HIGHLIGHT: The kid was working for the FBI.. Any truth to this or not??


Uhhh... who the fuck said that? No truth at all. None.


Thankfully as that would have been just about the dumbest thing ever.


Tue May 02, 2006 12:26 am
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Extraordinary

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Well, this is a nasty bit o' business, eh, wot!

This is one of them there real life nightmare films like Open Water or Hostel, where the protagonist(s) find themselves in a realistic, yet horrific situation beyond their control.

Not only that, it shares the lead character type of two other recent films - Basic Instinct 2 and The Libertine - the amoral omnipotent metaprotagonist. Actually, that would make an awesomely disturbing triple bill, not to mention the fact that I would like to see the ensuing fantasy combined sequel a la Freddy Vs. Jason where Harley Stark, Catherine Tramell, and Rochester are brought together in a cosmically debauched menage a trois by a freak time travel accident.

The two leads in Hard Candy do a great job - they're both creepier than sin. And the story, though creeping towards over-complex, brings it on home in a creepy climax. I can hardly rate this movie "great", but it certainly is worth seeing if you can stand real mind horror.

4 out of 5.


Tue May 02, 2006 1:21 am
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The Greatest Avenger EVER
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bradley witherberry wrote:
Well, this is a nasty bit o' business, eh, wot!

This is one of them there real life nightmare films like Open Water or Hostel, where the protagonist(s) find themselves in a realistic, yet horrific situation beyond their control.

Not only that, it shares the lead character type of two other recent films - Basic Instinct 2 and The Libertine - the amoral omnipotent metaprotagonist. Actually, that would make an awesomely disturbing triple bill, not to mention the fact that I would like to see the ensuing fantasy combined sequel a la Freddy Vs. Jason where Harley Stark, Catherine Tramell, and Rochester are brought together in a cosmically debauched menage a trois by a freak time travel accident.

The two leads in Hard Candy do a great job - they're both creepier than sin. And the story, though creeping towards over-complex, brings it on home in a creepy climax. I can hardly rate this movie "great", but it certainly is worth seeing if you can stand real mind horror.

4 out of 5.


I can stand it, but probably on DVD.. Wonder if this will have an "Unrated Edition"?? :-k


Tue May 02, 2006 1:43 am
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Orphan

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:47 pm
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BKB_The_Man wrote:
bradley witherberry wrote:
Well, this is a nasty bit o' business, eh, wot!

This is one of them there real life nightmare films like Open Water or Hostel, where the protagonist(s) find themselves in a realistic, yet horrific situation beyond their control.

Not only that, it shares the lead character type of two other recent films - Basic Instinct 2 and The Libertine - the amoral omnipotent metaprotagonist. Actually, that would make an awesomely disturbing triple bill, not to mention the fact that I would like to see the ensuing fantasy combined sequel a la Freddy Vs. Jason where Harley Stark, Catherine Tramell, and Rochester are brought together in a cosmically debauched menage a trois by a freak time travel accident.

The two leads in Hard Candy do a great job - they're both creepier than sin. And the story, though creeping towards over-complex, brings it on home in a creepy climax. I can hardly rate this movie "great", but it certainly is worth seeing if you can stand real mind horror.

4 out of 5.


I can stand it, but probably on DVD.. Wonder if this will have an "Unrated Edition"?? :-k


An unrated version seems unlikely as there really isn't much gore or anything like that in the first place. Perhaps there could be an extended cut with a longer, more graphic version of one scene in particular.


Tue May 02, 2006 9:38 am
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I can't wait to see this :) I think it looks absolutely fantastic. Hopefully I'll be seeing it in NYC when I go there in a couple weeks.

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2. Other People
3. Nocturnal Animals
4. Swiss Army Man
5. Manchester by the Sea
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10. Hell or High Water


Tue May 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Hard Candy, the latest film from director David Slade, is a difficult film to review. While the plot is fairly simple and straightforward, it is best if the viewer goes in knowing as little about the film as possible. Tackling the difficult subject matter of pedophilia, the film follows two characters throughout its entire duration. One is the predator. One is the prey. Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson) is a photographer with a penchant for young girls. Hayley Stark (Ellen Page) is a seemingly innocent 14-year-old who is wooed by Jeff's charm. But the events that unfold are nothing like anyone would expect, allowing this to become one of the most disturbing and truly haunting thrillers in recent memory.

The performances here are nothing short of spectacular. Patrick Wilson is undeniably creepy during the film's opening, appropriately charming yet also seemingly sadistic. However, he is even stronger later on - causing you to actually feel quite bad for him. It is one of the few films that actually makes the viewer sympathize with the supposed villain of the piece. Ellen Page is brilliant and deserves award consideration for her portrayl of Haley. She is perfect in the role - easily transitioning from playing the innocent young girl to a truly terrifying and insane individual. The fact that she is so believable makes this film so effective. Her character is absolutely fascinating and it is often hard to stomach some of the things she does and says. Aside from a brief cameo by "Grey's Anatomy" star Sandra Oh, this is largely a two-man show, and both actors play off each other to great success.

Direction by David Slade is also very strong. He gives the film an extremely claustrophobic feel that really makes you feel as if you are in on the action. The camerawork is primarily handheld, which adds to the realism. He also pays careful attention to color detail, exemplified in the simple yet effective opening credits. It is no coincidence that Hayley runs around with a little red hoodie, for example, as it truly plays into who her character is. Each scene inside the apartment feels very gritty thanks to the greyish color that each frame has. Slade also doesn't shy away from the many horrific sequences present in the film. One sequence in the film is truly unforgettable in terms of its ability to make the viewer squirm. It is one of the most terrifying scenes on display in quite a while.

Overall, Hard Candy is a great film - a vicious and undeniably effective cat-and-mouse tale that will leave you amazed. Award-worthy performances from both Wilson and Page make this a brilliant offering.

8/10 (A-)


Fri May 05, 2006 6:33 pm
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Orphan

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ellen Page DESERVES an Oscar nomination for her performance. No matter how many other good performances there are to come this year, she won't be topped as she is fantastic to the nth degree. The best performance I've ever seen from a young actor.


Sat May 06, 2006 5:12 am
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Joe wrote:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ellen Page DESERVES an Oscar nomination for her performance. No matter how many other good performances there are to come this year, she won't be topped as she is fantastic to the nth degree. The best performance I've ever seen from a young actor.


I agree. Along with Keke Palmer from Akeelah And The Bee, this has been a great year so far for young actors.


Sat May 06, 2006 8:28 am
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Makeshift, that theory makes perfect sense.

There's really no physical evidence of her existence. The neighbor sort of adds a kink to the theory but otherwise, interestng theory.


Thu May 11, 2006 11:42 pm
Teenage Dream

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loyalfromlondon wrote:
Makeshift, that theory makes perfect sense.

There's really no physical evidence of her existence. The neighbor sort of adds a kink to the theory but otherwise, interestng theory.


Forgot about the neighbor scene. Damn.

Still, I think the three points that support it (her speech about him not knowing anything about her/how she's every girl he's ever hurt, no harm comes to him that couldn't be self inflicted, and when he stabs the picture and says something like "Thank you, now I know who I am") outweigh the neighbor thing.

Great film.


Thu May 11, 2006 11:47 pm
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I nearly passed out during the castration scene.


Thu May 11, 2006 11:51 pm
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loyalfromlondon wrote:
I nearly passed out during the castration scene.


I had to walk out of the theater for that one.


Fri May 12, 2006 7:14 am
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Jordan Mugen-Honda
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What...A.....Fucked......up........movie.
I never thought i'd feel sorry for a pedophile but I do in this movie. The girl is a complete pyscho and by half way thru I was wishing somebody whould just hit her over the head, I mean just kill him and you'd understand but by torturing the fella she become's as much a monster as he is.
It's a thought provoking film that everyone should see but I wouldn't watch it twice.
Liked the "Machinist" style washed out colour trick with the way it's filmed as well.

B+

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Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:19 pm
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