Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How Hard Can it Be?

If you have been reading this blog, you know that one of my favorite movies from 2007 was Juno. It was smart, funny, human and realistic. Ellen Page was fantastic. So when I saw an Ellen Page movie in the discount DVD bin at Wal-Mart, I had to have it. I was not disappointed.

Hard Candy is a movie that will stay with you for weeks (months...years?). Ellen Page plays Hayley Stark, a 14 year old girl who has met a 32 year old photographer on the Internet. Jeff, played by Patrick Wilson, turns out to be a pedophile. Hayley seems much more mature than her 14 years and appears to want to hook up with Jeff. The odd couple end up at Jeff's house where one thing leads to another. Suffice it to say that Jeff is a creepy child molester/ abuser and Hayley is smarter and more clever than most 14 year olds.

I am not going to give you any more of the plot because I do not want to ruin the story for you. You should definitely see this film. But I will say that this is one of the best "edge of your seat thrillers" that has come out in several years. Most of the action takes place in or near Jeff's house. The dialogue is great. I had no idea what would happen, until it happened. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud.

There has been a debate brewing in my house for a while about what makes for a scary movie. I think that there are two distinct "types" within the horror genre. First of all, there is the 'startling' movie. Startling movies are the ones that use music, light and stereotypical creepiness to make you jump. There may be bloody murders or dead bodies coming out of the darkness to get you.

The second type of horror movie seems even more terrifying to me. A 'creepy' movie does not make you jump or scream, but it causes you to have an emotional response of anxiety. The Ring is a startling movie. Silence of the Lambs is a creepy movie. Hard Candy is one of the best creepy movies you will ever see.

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