Friday, December 10, 2010

Top 10 Films of the Year: #10-Hard Candy

Top 10 Films of the Year:
Hard Candy

What is probably the best straight-out thriller I reviewed this year is also the hardest to stomach. Hard Candy sets its sights on challening your morality and getting straight to the heart of the matter. The tale of an older man seducing a young girl over the internet is a shocking enough tale as it is, but what happens when this girl may be more than she is letting on to be. The film never explicity tells us to root for, who is evil, or who is good. Is this man a rapist? We don't know. Is he a murderer? We don't know. Screenwriter Brian Nelson brings up the topics but never gives us the answer, trusting the audience to make the decision of who is really evil. The assumed pedophile, or the young girl who is increasingly mutilating him as the film goes on? A very young Ellen Page (before her Juno days) gives an excellent, twisty turny performance as the girl we root for, but never know if we can trust, and Patrick Wilson also tunes into his inner split personality, displaying both likability, and undying hatred. Sandra Oh turns up briefly in a perfect little supporting role, if for only about three minutes of screen-time, and makes us even more tense than we already were. David Slade directs with an incredible visual flare, invoking Red Riding Hood imagery, in order to remind us that all our beloved classic children's stories that always had a dark twist. One of the most morally conflicting stories put to the screen, which will leave most audiences members feeling like they chose a villian, no matter who they wanted to see survive. It will definatly create a divide in the audience, and will trigger great conversation on who is evil in the story, and what the definition of evil is, great to watch with people who like to decifer film, or those who enjoy studying psychology. I'm still morally unsure about Hard Candy, but, it certainly did get me thinking, had me hooked, had me entertained, and got me talking, all while being an excellently crafted film to boot. For all those reasons, it would have been a crime to leave it off the top ten.

Note: Again, these are the Top 10 Films I reviewed this year, not the Top 10 realesed this year.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who thinks Ellen Page can't do anything except characters like Juno need to see this. This came out when the whole torture thing was all the rage in horror movies and this was one of the few that actually did it right by being about something.