A mature 14 year old girl named Hayley (pre-Juno Ellen Page), and a 30 year old photographer named Jeff (Patrick Wilson) compose nearly the entire cast of David Slade’s Hard Candy. These two captivating but unique individuals meet at a coffee shop to discuss the prospect of Hayley modeling for him. She obliges. Shortly after arriving at Jeff’s apartment that doubles as his photography studio, Hayley quickly outwits Jeff and slips him a mickey. When Jeff awakens, he discovers that he has been restrained so that Hayley may punish and torture him for his alleged pedophilia – even to the point of castration. In this screenshot we see Hayley, gazing down at Jeff while displaying a chilling yet innocent demeanor during a brief interlude from the castration. Worth viewing not only for the horrifying subject matter, but also for the remarkable performances wrought by both Wilson and particularly Page.
Perhaps a commentary on pedophilia, Hard Candy more interestingly lends itself to critiquing the notion of vigilante justice, and begs the question: “Who is the monster here?”:
By Guy Stridsigne 7/9/2011