Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hard Candy

The opening scene of David Slade's Hard Candy focuses on a supposedly innocent online chat. The Hayley (Ellen Page) and Jeff (Patrick Wilson) meet in person. The noticeable age difference aside, they get along very well...then things start to change.

Those are the best kind of films, aren't they? The ones that start off normal and slowly become something more twisted. Boy, does Slade know how to weave such a tale. (It's almost a shame that he would do a Twilight movie a few years later.)

It's also a strong testament when a film relies only on two actors to carry the story. (Both relative unknowns at the time too!) Most films of this nature usually require actors who are well-established throughout Hollywood. But Slade enlists the likes of Page and Wilson (both of whom not too far off from their big breaks) and damn, does it work.

Here's the interesting thing about Hayley's actions: we don't know why she's doing what she's doing. She doesn't give any hints that something of this nature had happened to her personally. Is Hayley retaliating or is she simply a devil with the face of an angel? Forget Juno; this is the role that should have gotten Page a nomination.

Although it loses steam in parts, Hard Candy is a thoroughly effective film. Thanks to the work from Page and Wilson (both of whom need to be in more stuff), the film proves that looks can be very deceiving. (It's true, you know.)

My Rating: ****

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