Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Hard Candy 2005

Directed by David Slade

The most brutal, disturbing and clever thriller of the Internet age sees a feisty 14-year-old girl turn the tables on the 32-year-old fashion photographer she met online.

USA In English
104 minutes 35mm



Brian Nelson


Jo Willems


Art Jones


Molly Nyman
Harry Escott


Patrick Wilson
Ellen Page
Sandra Oh
Jennifer Holmes


Sundance 2005; SXSW 2006


This is the disturbing movie that caused a ruckus at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s a celluloid payback for every underage girl who’s been mistreated by an adult male. It’s Red Riding Hood in reverse, inspired by the true story of Japanese schoolgirls who baited older men over the internet and then attacked them. Hard Candy takes that premise to Los Angeles and turns the amp up to 11. Expertly crafted by Brit commercial director David Slade, Hard Candy will divide audiences with its changing perspective on the treatment of the two central leads, a feisty 14-year-old and a 32-yearold fashion photographer. When the presumed predator invites the girl back to see his Hollywood Hills home, the tables are set for an afternoon of brutality and excruciating (if you’re male) developments. The script by playwright Brian Nelson is viciously clever and confounds the audience again and again, constantly shifting our expectations of both characters. The film also comes with a warning; like many that focus on sexual violence, this one treads a very fine line between exploitation and art.