The Drudgeon reviews Hard Candy

Hard Candy 105 min., 2005
Written by Brian Nelson
Directed by David Slade
Language: English
My rating: ★

And I thought The Fourth Kind was bad!!

* * *

The movie begins with two people chatting in an online chat room. The guy sounds like a pervert and the girl sounds like she’s underage. They decide to meet at a coffee shop and get to talking. He comes off as a nice, normal guy and she comes off as extremely pushy, and she talks him into going back to his place to hear some music. They get there and she wants some drinks and she makes some screwdrivers. They drink and he passes out, because she drugged him. As it turns out she has been following him and wants him to confess to being a pedophile. He denies it and she begins the search for evidence.

I don’t mind movies that have an overall agenda, but jesus christ, this one takes the fucking cake! Pedophiles are definitely the scum of the earth and I think they should be killed, but there is a point when you are watching a movie that the monologues need to stop and move on to something more interesting. It felt more like watching a Kevin Smith movie, which I do like his movies, just with really bad acting and a really boring and tired agenda drilled into your skull. Kinda like a header.

Ellen Page tries so hard to be come off as cunning and calculating, but fails on every level. She pushes the dialogue out through her teeth, like a strainer, struggling to keep her character going, but never gets even close to someone I’d really fear. Patrick Wilson is okay as the pedophile and turns in a whole lot better performance that Ellen, but he is still never really convincing as either victim or slimy pedophile.

Both of the acting problems also stem from the really crappy script. Most of what is said is just one giant mantra of the writer trying to get the point across, that Hayley is so smart and Jeff is so innocent or pitiful. The dialogue is some of the most annoying that I’ve seen in a long time, and I’ve been watching some really baaaaad movies. The story is also one of those marks that are just too absurd. This has a 14 year old girl (don’t really know if she is or not by the end, but still), who has everything planned out, even when he breaks free not once, but twice. Really? Really? At least Jeff was more grounded in reality than her.

Unless you want to watch a movie with bad acting, really bad dialogue and a concept that has been done before, just stay away. Nothing about this is remotely good or enjoyable, and just pounds into your head that pedophiles are bad. The writer just doesn’t seem to get that, pedophiles and fucked up Catholics are the only ones that think pedophiles are not a real problem, as EVERYONE else does.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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One Response to The Drudgeon reviews Hard Candy

  1. Lackey says:

    Keeping in mind that I haven’t seen this movie since, I think, 2006 or 2007…

    Since David Slade can’t, by law, show the vast caches of kiddie porn Jeff is said to possess, the audience has to take Hayley at her word when she insists that’s what it is. One thing I remember distinctly was that Hayley makes several references to some questionable pieces of art that are hanging on the walls, which the audience never sees. For all we know, the pictures may be slightly icky but entirely legal.

    So the fascinating thing about Hard Candy is it boils down to a he said/she said scenario (in which Jeff is never allowed to effectively make his case). There is room, then, to argue that Hard Candy isn’t really about a child molester getting his comeuppance at the hands of one of his intended victims. What it’s really about is an eccentric and creepy but nonetheless innocent guy who finds himself being psychologically and physically turned by a deeply delusional and psychotic 14-year-old girl.

    Of course, it’s fairly clear that this isn’t Slade’s interpretation; he’s obviously opting for a cheaper and lazier “feminist empowerment through castration” message.

    Also, Hayley is specifically stated to be 14. Thus, Jeff is not a pedophile. Weird that we get two movies that are idiotic about pedophilia in the same week…

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