Hard Candy

Rated 3.0

A 32-year-old photographer (Patrick Wilson) flirts on-line with a 14-year-old girl (Ellen Page), then lures her to a local coffee shop. But when he takes her home, she drugs him and turns the tables, with a cold plan of revenge. Brian Nelson’s script is essentially a two-actor play—“two-actor” as opposed to “two-character” because the photographer and the girl never become real characters; they’re just writer’s constructs put in place to represent two sides of a revenge fantasy. Wilson and Page must hold our attention while playing symbols rather than real people and delivering speeches rather than dialogue, while director David Slade must finesse the script’s more implausible developments. They all succeed in keeping the tension high, and the questions don’t come to mind until after the credits roll.