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Hard Candy

David Slade

Hard Candy
What do you get when you take a seemingly innocent but precocious teenage girl and a slick, predatory 30-something man? The answer is hardly the lessons they attempt to teach youngsters about the dangers of online chat rooms. No, instead Hard Candy sets up a predicament that gets hairier and more intense as it proceeds, never relenting until the credits roll. Hayley (Ellen Page) is lured to the studio/home of fashion photographer Jeff (Patrick Wilson), where he plans to snap pics of her, among other things. When she pours him a drink, things get a little hazy and the tables are turned, setting up a torturous interrogation with utterly shocking events. Uncomfortable to say the least, this is an exceptional, stylish film where limits and scruples are tested, as well as your stomach — one nauseating surgical scene guarantees that men will be fidgeting in their seats. Extras examine the film’s impact and provocative disposition, which was loosely inspired by a phenomenon in Japan where young girls ensnared businessmen and robbed and beat them for their money. Wilson and Page’s commentary shows another side to their chemistry, something much friendlier than their onscreen battle and is rather pleasant. Slade and writer Brian Nelson, as expected, use technical lingo but give some helpful clarification on certain ambiguities. A "making of” featurette tells the story behind the film from the plot and cast to the visual style and lesser noteworthy elements. "Controversial Confection” explores the soul of the film and why it’s so litigious through interviewing those involved, every one of whom shows twisted delight in being part of something so formidable. Plus: deleted and extended scenes. (Maple)
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