Hard Candy (Slade, 2005)


One of the hardest genres to make these days has to be the Revenge film. So many scenario’s have been made, re-made, then recycled again through various other genres, i.e. the revenge romantic comedy, the revenge drama, western, actioneer, etc. To me, the half-life of a revenge film depends on it’s unique way of telling the story, not so much the story itself. We already know some badass man or woman scored will enact their revenge for past wrongs, but how will the filmmaker show the process of such action?

Hard Candy, the slick thriller from David Slade, attempts to turn the Revenge film on it’s head, pitting a 14 year old girl as the predator and the pedophile as her prey.While interesting in theory,the film fails to invoke any suspense or danger because of the bland, almost lacadasical approach to the mise-en-scene and blocking. The moments that are supposed to feel clausterphobic and pressing come across staged, melodramatic, and ultimately hollow in terms of film technique and story.

Hard Candy dwells too hard on it’s invasive camera movements,heightened film speed, and blatantly positioned primary colors. We are overwhelmed by technique and in turn, lose sight of any subtlties or nuances in character or design. If you want a subdued, gripping revenge film, check out Dead Man’s Shoes, a film not afraid to let the camera linger on the affects revenge can have on a tortured soul.


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