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Hard Candy [2005)

Norma Bates.


Meets Paul Kersey.


You know…

It’s not often I watch horror films.

I had a bad experience once with the schlock of the genre.

Sleepwalkers (1992).

I never really forgave Stephen King for that one.

But perhaps the story was just muffed in the inept hands of Mick Garris?

Well, whatever the case may be:  Hard Candy is compelling cinema.

Yes, charge me with the crime of our age.

The worship of youth.

Ephebophilia is hammered into our heads by the nonstop spectacle.

It is chronophilia from 15-19.  Age range.

You’re attracted to young people.

So many nuances.

There’s hebephilia.  11-14.

Perhaps it is this which is most germane to our film.

Ellen Page is a star.

Sure, it’s a bit trendy…after Monster in 2003.

But I’ve seen that one…and Hard Candy is more compelling.

Ellen Page is more compelling.

Page plays a 14-year-old named Hayley.

Such a quintessential name.  Like Caitlyn (and its derivative spellings).

Top hit?  [Sponsored content?]  Hayley Williams of the band Paramore.


Hayley Williams.  27.  Looks plenty young.

The worship of youth.

Red hair.  Porcelain skin.  Not a wrinkle in sight.

Hayley [sic].  Peak U.S. popularity in 1990s.

Et voila!  Hayley Williams born 1988.  That’s about right.

How about Haley?  Also peaked in the 1990s.  And about three times more common than the Hayley spelling.

[This is the honors-student logic of Hayley Stark in our film.  Really a genius detail.]

Let’s try Hailey.  Oooh!  Most popular yet!  And peaked in 2005 🙂

There’s also Haylee (trailer-trash rare…peak 2009), Hayleigh (a recent trend peaking in 2011…almost with a Cajun ring to it),  and the ultra-rare Haylie (a dainty spelling which peaked in 2007).

These are the keys to the safe.

Yes, it’s a very bad day for Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson).

Hell of a performance.

To wake up with your balls in your mouth.

Not just a figurative Quantum of Solace reference.

Sure, it’s a bit like Misery with Kathy Bates.

So, see:  the Norma Bates wisecrack wasn’t so off in another way.

Let me clarify.

Hard Candy is not a great film, but it’s pretty damned good.

The direction is good.

Patrick Wilson is good.

The scenario/script is good.

Ellen Page is great.

She’s not perfect.

There’s a few moments when the tension is so ridiculous that she almost breaks character.

Not a relaxing movie.

My first “horror” review.

I love Psycho.  It’s artful.

But chasing Hitchcock down that path can be a very treacherous exercise for auteurs.

David Slade does a fine job.

This film most certainly does not suck.

But again, Hulu:  I just wanted to watch a fucking comedy.

And your dramas still blow.

Ended up in horror.

God damn, you people suck at your jobs.



9 responses to “Hard Candy [2005)

  1. migarium

    I didn’t watch this movie, but maybe I can watch later. I love the dogs movie, the movie about the love of dogs, or about valour of the dog (kind of save the planet). When will you write about a dog movie, Paul? We as the dogs are waiting a good dog movie from your writings! Yes, I make a request:)

    • Thank you WD! Yes, you are right: I have not reviewed enough dog movies. It is not really fair of me to focus of human movies. But also I need to find some Turkish movies. I cannot seem to find them. And I don’t know who are the best directors (like a cinema equivalent of Cem Karaca).

      But then also I don’t know the best dog directors 🙂 So I need to research! –Paul

      • migarium

        Hmm, you’re right Paul. I don’t know either any dog director. When you said this, I’ve dreamed about it. If I was a director what would happen? I saw my self on the director chair, and a megaphone into my paws. I am yelling(maybe I could say barking:) to the actors, actresses and set workers! Woow, this would have been good! But I am a dog which knows own self better. I don’t have any qualification for director stuff!

        The other side, Migo knows better which Turkish director movies are good. When Migo was sick, one day he was on the bed and he was playing computer games from the bed. (This knowledge should stay between us Paul, but when he was sick he continuously played the games, sometimes watched the tv series like The Expanse, even he didn’t care attention too much with me!) Anyway, one day, I saw him when he has written something on a paper. I asked him: “what are you doing, Migo?” He said that he has taken the notes for you about learning Turkish. And I reminded him “you should add some Turkish directors and movies at your notes for Paul”(Yes, I am foresighted dog you know, and I knew that this conversation will happen between us someday!) But Migo continued to his notes.

        You see, I did best I can! So, bottom line, you should ask Migo. And I am sure you won’t say Migo anything about my telling for his sickness!

      • Well, thank you WD! It’s ok. I can’t find dog movies or Turkish movies here. I saw a little bit of a film about extraterrestrials called Paul (that is the name of the film). I thought it was good and funny, but I will have to ask Migo how accurate it is. Best wishes, my dog friend!!! –Paul

      • migarium

        Yes, it is good movie “Paul”. We had laughed too:)

        My misfortune has been while there are many famous movie star alien on Earth, I met with Migo, damn it! Anyway, Migo shouldn’t hear this!

        My best wishes to you Paul, my good human friend;)

  2. Dude the cleaner ⋅

    I love this film. Recommended by a friend. There are some great performances in this film. Nice review.

    • Thank you! Yes, both of the main actors are really good. I really liked Ellen Page. She is really tough and smart. It’s a very interesting character. Thank you my friend! –Paul

  3. historymonocle ⋅

    Should be Norma Bates meets Jerome Kersey. I never forgave Stephen King for looking like a muppet.

    • Haha 🙂 yeah, I can’t believe Jerome Kersey died. There have been a lot of basketball players dying relativity young recently. Daryl Dawkins, Moses Malone…

      Oh, and Vin Baker is now a manager of a Starbucks in Rhode Island. He started at entry level. Crazy story for an NBA All-Star!


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