U.S. Theatrical Release Date: April 14, 2006
U.S. DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
Tagline: "Strangers Should Not Talk To Little Girls."
('Hard Candy' is apparently an internet slang term for an underage girl.)
Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson ~ 'The Phantom of the Opera'
) is a moderately successful fashion photographer, 32 years old that occasionally lurks around teen oriented internet chat rooms, making posts under the moniker of 'Lensman319'.
Over the past few weeks on various sites, he has developed an on line repoire with one Hayley Stark (Ellen Page ~ 'X-Men:The Last Stand'
), whose screen name is 'Thonggrrrrrl14', an adolescent 14 year old girl who finds him curious and compelling.
After a few blatantly teasing and flirtatious conversations the duo agree to meet in person at 'Nighthawk's', a local coffee shop.
Jeff, upon meeting Hayley coyly states that he'll "have to wait four years" for Thonggrrrrrl14. Once it is suggested that they 'hook up' Jeff proclaims "That's insane." Hayley responds that "4 out of 5 doctors think that I'm insane."
Hayley convinces Jeff to take her to his house to listen to Jeff's bootleg MP3 of the latest 'Goldfrapp' concert, a show that she pines that she missed.
At Jeff's house she listens to the recording of the show while he fixes some drinks. Ice water. From the faucet. Hayley declines the drink saying that she was taught to never drink anything that she didn't mix herself. She's sure that she can find something more 'exciting' and finds a bottle of vodka in Jeff's refrigerator freezer.
After some imbibing (and some goading on Hayley's behalf) she asks Jeff to take some photographs of her, just like the ones of the young fashion models that adorn the walls of his house.
Jeff exits the living room to get his camera and Hayley swaps out music CD's in the entertainment center, kicking the mood up a notch. Jeff returns to the living room and after taking a few photos, begins to feel ill and disoriented and subsequently passes out.
When he wakes up, Jeff finds himself bound with rope to his computer chair. Hayley explains that she drugged him with something she stole from her father (a doctor). She must have overdosed him, but it wasn't like she could have asked for dosage instructions.
Terrified, Jeff yells for help but Hayley sprays a household cleaner into his mouth, proclaiming that if he tries anything like that again, it will be something more caustic next time.
She begins her mental/sexual torture of Jeff, implying that she is going to impart 'preventative maintenance' on the man that she believes is responsible for horrific crimes against young girls in the community during recent times.
The DVD is presented in 16x9 Widescreen Format and 2.35:1 DVD Screen Format, along with English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio and English and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. English and Spanish Subtitles and English Closed Captioning are also available.
DVD Bonus Features include:
~ 'Commentary with Director David Slade and Writer Brian Nelson'
~ 'Commentary with Actors Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page'
~ 'Deleted and Extended Scenes'
~ "Creating 'Hard Candy'" - Making of Documentary
~ "Controversial Confection" Minifeaturette
~ 'DVD-Rom Production Notebook'
~ 'Theatrical Trailer'
Despite a couple of questionable situations, Director David Slade (known primarily for music videos for bands 'Warp Vision
' and 'Stone Temple Pilots
'), cinematographer Jo Williams (whose use of color at just the right moments creates even more uneasiness and tension) and Screenwriter Brian Nelson ('Earth:Final Conflict'
) pretty much hit a home-run with their first 'Big Screen' collaboration.
There is no blood. There is no sex. But the power of sound and the strength of dialogue keeps the viewer trying to decide who the innocent, who the vengeful and who the whack job is, all the while walking a tightrope with a very controversial subject.
It takes an intrepid filmmaker to deal with this subject matter, and it takes as daring actors to pull off a 'two-man' movie.(The entire cast actually totals five actors, two of which have less than ten lines and one is a non speaking role. But one disgusted look can speak a thousand volumes.)
Riveting, intense, and a story with an ending that should provide hours of spirited discussion long after you've returned (yet probably watched more than once) this DVD rental.
Rating: 3 'Implied Surgical Procedures' out of 5
TITLE: Hard Candy ~ STUDIO: LionsGate Entertainment ~ MPAA RATING: *R* for Disturbing Violent and Aberrant Sexual Content Involving a Teen, and for Language ~ RUNNING TIME: 105 Minutes ~ STARRING: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae, Gilbert John ~ DIRECTED BY: David Slade
The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of 'jonja.net nor it's owner.
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