HARD CANDY | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
In David Slade's psychological thriller, a 14-year-old girl, Haley (Ellen Page), entices thirtysomething Jeff (Patrick Wilson), a man she believes to be a pedophile. Once alone in his home, she abruptly switches the game, and through a series of unlikely moves, makes Jeff the helpless victim. So the abuser becomes the abused ... it's an academic exercise in morality: Don't we already agree that a civilized society doesn't mete out eye-for-an-eye vengeance? Slade's film is intriguing up to a point, but it soon turns unpleasant ... there's fairly explicit, if unseen, torture ... and how entertaining is this? Candy is shot on digital video, and the markedly low quality of its visuals just adds to its voyeuristic aspect. As drama, Candy over-relies on shocking behavior rather than sketching out reasonable motives. Ultimately, there's nobody to root for but Page, who manages a tricky role (part child, sex kitten, femi-Nazi and psycho) with panache. (AH) Squirrel Hill

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