Teasing, disturbing and scary, Hard Candy keeps you at the edge of your seat as you wonder who will have the upper hand in the cat-and-mouse game that 14-year old, paedophile-hater, Hayley Stark [Ellen Page] creates.
The movie starts off with flirty messages between Hayley and Jeff Kohlver [Patrick Wilson] in which they decide to meet up for the first time. From the minute Hayley comes on screen and starts talking to her lover who is much older than her, it is clear that she is too intelligent and mature for her age.
The whole film revolves around the two with next to no other characters being introduced throughout. This makes it more intense.
Things get interesting when Jeff invites Hayley to his house. He is a professional photographer and has pictures of young women skimpily dressed around his home. Hayley makes herself at home, makes screwdrivers for herself and him. It’s not a good idea letting a 14-year old get you drunk.
Jeff wakes up tied up and that’s when the torture – both physical and mental begins. Hayley is keen to prove that Jeff is a paedophile and when she does, she would rather punish this man herself than call the police.
There are a lot of disturbing scenes though nothing is really shown. It’s just the idea of what she’s doing to him and the sounds that make it horrific.
I had no idea why this movie was called Hard Candy but a quick Google search satisfied my query: one reason I found was because young girls are known as ‘hard candy’ online by paedophiles. The other reason was because Hayley is sweet like candy but has a hard and cruel side to her as well.
This wasn’t the type of movie that I would go out of my way to watch but I’m glad I did this time. It’s different, in a good way. I kept on thinking of all the 14-year olds I know and wondering if they could do the same things Hayley does.