Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
February 24, 2007
Chimp’s working title: “Little Red Riding Hood kicks ass”

Hard Candy is both visceral on a visual level and jarring in it’s character development. It opens up with a shot of an interchange in a computer chat room. Right off the bat, “this does not bode well” and as the movie progresses the tension and the foreboding only increases but never predictably.

This movie predominantly takes place in one location, between two people and the tight back and forth dialogue carries the flow of the plot in a current that is both chaotic and cunning. What makes the movie so intriguing is that the writer has taken the issue of the internet stocking of young girls, which is often reduced to black and white conclusions, and has turned it on it’s head. The result is that both characters are victims and both are oppressors and you find yourself going back and forth, never being able to nail down guilt or innocence, never quite knowing who to root for.

Hard Candy is not psychologically cheap but in fact has a depth that draws you in. This is done artfully and with a minimalist flavour. As well, the acting plays a big part of making this movie set apart: it is subtle and uncompromisingly human as opposed to “over the top” and one-dimensional. Many movies would have taken this theme and given into the way of “the slasher” genre but the violence ends up being nuanced and subtle, reflected in the words shared between the two, which only increases the tension. Hard Candy is a discussion movie to be sure but the discussion is broadened to include both issues of internet safety as well as vigilantism.

Rating: Hard Candy is a smart movie. In every element: visual, dialogue, acting, storyline and outcome, Hard Candy never feels lazy or reductionistic. It will make you think twice about wanting to live out your revenge fantasies. Chimp loved it.