Hard Candy

Director: David Slade

Release Date: 2005

The color red is used to signify danger, clues (like in The Sixth Sense) or anything subversive. I remember looking at the poster for Hard Candy and immediately thought, "It's like Little Red Riding Hood and she's trying to catch the Big Bad Wolf." As far as marketing, I thought the usage of a girl in a red hoodie standing in the middle of a large bear trap was a great image to provide the viewer an idea of the film's content. I appreciated the usage of red throughout the movie when on the walls during Hayley's *spoiler alert* torture scenes. As she's talking at Jeff, her pale innocent looking face with the stark contrast of red in the background was cinematic beauty. I love they stylistic choices made to make this movie aesthetically pleasing and also entertaining and uncomfortable at the same time.

I'd never seen Patrick Wilson before watching him in this even though later on I'd see his phenomenal performance in the HBO miniseries Angels in America. Watching him in this movie, playing the creepy guy but also the victim showed me his range so much more. Wilson can do it all!

The score and the story make this story worthwhile. Pedophilia is still an icky topic to discuss and although I feel like the movie and play Trust paint an excellent picture of what this looks like, this movie drives the viewers in a completely other direction. Our Red Riding Hood isn't exactly a victim here but I don't want to divulge too many details to spoil the movie for folks that have yet to watch.

Hard Candy is David Slade's first picture (and so Great!) and Ellen Page's first mainstream film in the States that led her to the famous role in Juno. What makes me gush about this movie is how timeless the story still feels ten years later as I write about it. This still happens but not as prominent as before. I don't think there are any vigilante young girls but perhaps those stories don't make such a splash? Either way, this film is gorgeous from all angles. Wilson and Page's chemistry throughout pulls the viewer in that you have mixed feelings for both characters. That's the sign of a well-made picture.

I could keep going on about this movie, seriously. See it already! The film might incite squirming but that means the film made you think! Trailer below.

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