Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hard Candy (2005)

Music video director David Slade's debut feature came amid the frenzy of horror porn that 'graced' our screens a few years back, starting with Saw (2004). Less gory it may be than some of the straight-to-video fare that is filling up the shelves in your local video store, the film is more disturbing - ina good way - than the blood-and-guts-all-over-the-place Eli Roth shenanigans.

Fourteen-year-old Haley meets a thirty-something profeesional photographer, Jeff (a great performance by Patrick Wilson), she has been chatting with on the internet in a coffee house. Before long, she ends up in his house, posing for his camera. However, Haley has some tricks under her sleeve.

The problem with Hard Candy isn't its fetishistic use of gore to attract and repel its audience, but rather the style with which it is handled. It has a naturalistic, European feel to it with the stark colours and the extreme close-up shots. However, once the 'action' kicks in, Slade conforms to the trends and starts using his hand-held camera with low-contrast lenses. This oscillation between two varying forms of cinematography is very jarring.

The film then takes a left-turn for the good as it introduces the biggest male fear, yet (spoiler here) it changes its mind. Some plot-lines don't make any sense and the ending is very trite.

All in all a poor film that thinks of itself intelligent - and we all know it ain't. It doesn't have anything interesting or constructive to say about the issue of paedophilia. Instead, it portrays a rather fascistic approach to the subject.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails