Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quick BIQ Review: Hard Candy (2005)

Exploiting themes that probably shouldn't be exploited, I expect Hard Candy would have been offensive if it wasn't so ridiculous.

It's a shame because the opening 15 minutes could have been the start of a much better film. Ellen Page's performance is sensational and David Slade's direction is impressive but, the screenplay is so contrived and exploitative, it's difficult to appreciate their fine work.

I honestly think writer, Brian Nelson, must have had the infinite improbability drive blowing smoke when he concocted the ludicrous ending.

This sort of thing can, and has, be done better: look no further than Death And The Maiden (ironically, a Roman Polanski film) for evidence of this.


  1. I actually liked Hard Candy quite a bit, but yeah, the ending is implausible to the point of ridiculousness. The thing is, everything up to that point has been so compelling that I just sort of said, "whatever," to the ending and enjoyed the film anyway. What can I say, my standards aren't terribly high.


    A more satisfying ending would have been if Ellen Page had been wrong about who she was tormenting. She's obviously gone off the deep end, but being that she's right, there's some sense of justice being accomplished. Take that away and it becomes truly disturbing.

  2. In case anyone other than Marvin or I are reading this, the following discussion contains SPOILERS.

    Because the opening was so promising and the tone was so serious, I just found Hard Candy really frustrating when it started getting so ridiculous.

    I’m not just talking about the end either. The “castration” scene in particular had me shaking my head in utter disbelief... how can a man not know that video footage of someone else having their nuts cut off is not live streaming footage of his own nuts being cut off? There would be heaps of visual clues and, of course, a bit of ice is not going to disguise the fact that you would most probably feel something if someone cut your nuts off. It was just so ridiculous in a movie that was trying to be so serious, for me, it undermined any chance I had of appreciating the better elements of the film, like Page’s excellent performance and Slade's slick direction.