Watch Hard Candy
- 1 hr 43 min
Hard Candy from 2005 is a gripping psychological thriller that revolves around the story of a 14-year-old girl who meets a much older man through an online chatroom. The girl, named Hayley Stark, is portrayed by Elliot Page, while Patrick Wilson plays the role of the man, Jeff Kohlver. Sandra Oh plays a smaller role as a waitress at a cafe where Jeff and Hayley eventually meet. At the beginning of the movie, Jeff and Hayley chat online and agree to meet up at a coffee shop called Nighthawks. Once there, they strike up an awkward conversation, and Hayley begins to flirt with Jeff heavily. Despite his reluctance, Jeff eventually agrees to go back to Hayley's house to hang out and listen to some music. However, once they are alone, things start to take a dark turn. Without giving too much away, it's safe to say that Hayley's intentions are not what they initially appear. To say that the movie is tense would be an understatement; from the moment Hayley and Jeff get back to her house, the tension only continues to escalate. The dialogue between the two characters is razor-sharp, and the actors give powerful performances that make it impossible to look away from the screen. One of the things that makes Hard Candy so impressive is the way it handles the difficult subject matter. Without spoiling anything, the movie deals with themes of sexual predation and abuse, and it addresses these issues in a way that is both challenging and compassionate. Jeffrey's character is complicated, and although he is ultimately the one who is victimized, the film never shies away from exploring the ways in which he has contributed to his own situation. The film is visually stunning as well, with a stark color palette dominated by blues, whites, and grays. The use of negative space is particularly effective in several scenes, emphasizing the isolation of the characters and the bleakness of their situations. The film's score is also noteworthy, with tense, minimalist electronic music heightening the tension throughout. Without a doubt, the standout feature of Hard Candy is Elliot Page's performance as Hayley Stark. Page shines in the role, imbuing Hayley with a fierce intelligence and an unwavering resolve. Hayley is a complex character, and Page does an excellent job showcasing her unpredictability and her vulnerability. It's difficult not to be impressed by her from beginning to end, and her portrayal of the character has rightfully earned her acclaim. Overall, Hard Candy is an intense, unsettling movie that is not for the faint of heart. Its themes are difficult to grapple with, and its depiction of sexual abuse is unflinching. However, it is a masterclass in tension and suspense, and its performances are some of the best you will see in any movie. For those who can handle the darkness, Hard Candy is absolutely worth a watch.