Monday, April 9, 2012

Move Aside, Chris Hansen.

HARD CANDY (2005)
You know the lecture. We've all heard it at one point in our lives since the invention of the world wide web. "There's nothing but perverts and pedophiles out there. Beware." And so parents do their best to monitors their children and sleep easy to the sounds of Chris Hansen on Dateline. Everyone's out to kill our children. If it's not the internet, it's the strangers we talk to and the man on the side of the road sticking his thumb out. I don't know about you, but I've always thought the only person more frightening than the hitchhiker with a hockey mask is the driver who's willing to pick up a hitchhiker with a hockey mask. Hard Candy falls somewhere along those lines. It follows the journey of a 14 year old girl (Ellen Page) who decides to finally meet face-to-face the 32 year old photographer (Patrick Wilson) who has been chatting her up on the internet. To say any more than that is really to spoil the brilliance of the movie. What I will say is that what plays out is an intense cat-and-mouse game that would probably put Patrick Bateman to shame. 

The real brilliance of this movie is in the acting. The concept itself is fantastic, but it's the actors who really turn it around. Ellen Page is not the soft little thing you remember from Juno. She's got a multitude of sides to her, and she plays them all with a chilling deadpan brilliance. As for Patrick Wilson, I can't help but like the guy. Between Watchmen and The A-Team, I'm sold. Sandra Oh makes a brief appearance, but for the most part the entirety of the movie focuses completely on the two leads. They not only play off each other fantastically, but are also excellent in their own right. One of the great things this movie has going for it is good, old fashioned suspense. It's the monster behind the curtains that never really shows its face. It's the very visceral feeling of dread as you watch the characters spiral further and further out of control. If you've got a taste for tension and it's been an hour since your last meal, I'd definitely suggest checking this one out.

20 comments:

  1. I always find Ellen Page fascinating. hard Candy was one of the first films I had seen her in and was basically hooked after that. i have always wanted to see Peacock with her and Cillian Murphy but I haven't got around to it quite yet. Have you seen it by any chance?

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    1. I'm with you there! Ellen Page is fantastic. Whether she's doing straight-faced humor or a little crazy girl. I haven't seen Peacock, but I do like both her and Murphy. I'll have to check it out!

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  2. I really loved the film, which was surprising to me because I'm not big fan of either Page or Wilson. Great review, though I think Bateman would do much more creative things to the guy, if he was into torturing men :)

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    1. The concept was just brilliant. All there is to it. And I think if you have an axe, you don't need to be creative. Just psycho.

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  3. Hi…I’m hopping over from the A to Z Challenge. Lovely post…good luck with the challenge.

    Donna L Martin
    http://www.donasdays.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks! I love A to Z hoppers! Good luck with yours!

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  4. Always wanted to watch this movie! I'm a bit squirmish though... But Ellen Page is awesome, I'll have to check it out sometime.

    I'm also doing the A-Z challenge!
    http://trifleslifles.blogspot.de/

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    1. I'll put it this way: there are "troubling" moments in it, but nothing you really see. So it's more...up to your imagination. Which is the awesome part.

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  5. Ooo, I haven't heard of this movie before. Wonderful review.

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    1. Thanks! It's a good one, I'd recommend checking it out!

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  6. I've never heard of this movie but I made sure to write it down. It sounds right up my alley. And I LOVE Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page is a fantastic actor. Thanks for sharing this little gem.

    It's nice to meet you. I'm a new follower via the A to Z.

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    1. Yay new follower! You should definitely check it out--it's horrifying and brilliant at the same time. Let me know what you think!

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  7. It's a fantastic movie - and I want to say more - lots more - but I too would take us into spoiler territory. I thought the movie was well made - and featured splendid performances all around. Solid H post, M.

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    1. Exactly! The best parts are the spoiler worthy parts. And thanks! It's just a straight up good movie.

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  8. I keep meaning to watch this movie, but always put it off! I should definitely check it out, and soon!

    - T'Laina (vibrant-oxymoron.blogspot.com)

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    1. You should check it out! It's relatively short and just a good watch.

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  9. Ha, that headline is perfect. Nice review of a wicked little movie. That "I'm still here," scene.... Jesus. No man can watch that scene without sweating. Rough.

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    1. Thanks! Agreed...it's definitely a sweat-tastic movie. Very intense!

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  10. Yes, Yes, YES! Ellen Page could not be more brilliant and Patrick is a terrifically underrated actor who blows my mind.

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    1. Agreeed! Ellen Page FTW. Together, these two are dynamite. And completely terrifying.

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