Hard Candy


Directed By David Slade

Starring: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson, and Sandra Oh


            Hard Candy is a powerful and stunning motion picture that rocked the Sundance Festival of 2005. This Independent film takes place in a rural area within a potentially dangerous thirty year old man’s residence. Believe it or not the film only has three stars! One of which is only on screen for maybe two minutes in total. Hard Candy is an Independent thriller film that is filled with suspense.


Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson are able to form a very sturdy bond on camera. This bond goes beyond the simple words on the script, but into their own body language. Page and Wilson can actually become the character they must portray. Hayley Stark (Page) is an adorable and innocent teen and Jeff (Wilson) is a dangerous online predator looking to hook up with underage girls. This scenario gives you the ability to shove all of your sympathy and trust into one character. However, this feeling of comfort will not be present for long. As the movie continues a small bit further, you will see that Hayley is not who she seemed to be. Jeff wakes up tied to an office chair looking into the eyes of his captor, the innocent young Hayley. Hayley is a very intelligent young woman, sedating Jeff and attempting to expose his sick lifestyle to everyone. At this point you’re very confused, who is Hayley? Why has Jeff been tied up? These questions may or may not be answered, or may be explained in a confusing manner. As the story line goes on a bit you will find yourself with a disturbed look upon your face. Whether it be from Jeff’s lifestyle being uncovered little by little or the disturbing “castration” scene you are sitting through. Your feelings for the characters will be altered very frequently. The film will throw different scenarios at you, making sure you’re not comfortable. For example, there are many scenes where Jeff will harm Hayley but Hayley may harm Jeff in a more brutal fashion. As I discussed before Hayley is a very smart teen, throughout the entire film she is outsmarting Jeff. Whenever Jeff begins to figure this mysterious teen out, she counteracts him with a strong composure and a twist of events. As the Movie approaches its end, Hayley gives Jeff the most difficult decision of his life. Will Jeff be exposed or will his life end before that can even happen.


            One aspect of the film in which I was really impressed with was the acting. This picture was independent so the actors really stepped up their game. Each performance was outstanding! Ellen Page portrayed her role as a clever and mature teen extremely well. In one scene Hayley is hit repeatedly in the torso by Jeff’s chair and she throws her body against the wall in pain and really shines on the screen. This was more than likely one of the more difficult roles Ellen Page has faced in her career and she states this in the commentary with Patrick Wilson. You will find yourself having trouble finding answers in which you will not get and having your sympathy shifted from character to character.


             The next aspect I would like to touch base on is the colors throughout the film. Throughout the movie the colors seem to change with the tone of the scene. For example the film is very bright towards the beginning when they are just being acquainted but the color fades into a darker tint as Hayley’s character is unraveled a bit. The colors are brung out intensely because Jeff Lives in a studio that he calls a “Portfolio”. This goes great with the story line making Jeff’s character even sneakier than the audience expects.


            This film left me in complete awe. I was amazed with every actor’s performance and left breathless by the fantastic product that is Hard Candy. This film is an independent film that could have easily been rated higher than an a-list film. I give this movie an easily deserved five stars. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys thrillers and movies with unique plots and surprises! So go check out Hard Candy!

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