Magnolia E.D.W. Mulqueen/Jan 15th, 2017 — So I was on YouTube earlier this evening when I came across the video titled “Ten Movies You Can’t Watch Twice,” by the channel Screen Time. Basically, it listed movies that though well made, are far too emotionally intense and draining for anyone to be able to watch twice. Now, because I hate myself and I just love to feel emotionally exhausted right before bedtime, I decided to see how many of these movies were on Netflix. The answer was two, the movie Requiem For A Dream and the movie Hard Candy starring the lovely Ellen Page. Now, ever since Juno, I have been a huge fan of Ellen Page, like I am actually in love with her, I remember this conversation I had with this dude over the summer and he was like “dude, I’m in love with Ellen Page,” and I was like “Ha, too bad she’s gay fuckeroni and cheese,” (You know, as if there were a chance that I instead would live happily ever after). Anyway, so of course I gotta pick the movie with Ellen Page in it, I mean I don’t hate myself enough to deprive myself of her quirky charm.
Going into the movie I had a vague idea of what it was, thanks to the aforementioned video. In short, a 14 year old girl, played by young Ellen Page, charms a pedophile, played by some loser, gets into his house and then uses psychological torture to get him to admit he had something to do with the disappearance of another young girl. Sounds like a really fun watch, right? All jokes aside though, this movie was far more serious than any other movie I have watched and then reviewed, so I am going to try to approach this from a more mature angle than I would with any other movie I might review. There were no transforming Christopher Lloyd Monsters, no STD zombies, or sexy gender fluid mutants, it’s all a little bit more sensitive, prepare yourself.
The movie opens with a shot of a computer screen, a chat room is open, the audience quickly realizes that this is a chat between a young girl and a grown man. The girl offers to meet him at a coffee shop, and then it’s off to the man’s house. Almost instantly I began to draw parallels between this movie and the story of Lolita, because the man in this movie, Jeff has an obsession with a girl he was with when he was younger, Janelle, the same way Humbert is obsessed with Annabelle after she dies, however instead of dying, Janelle becomes famous and leaves Jeff, though I do think it is interesting (and I am just noticing this now) but Janelle and Annabelle have such similar names, though this could just be a coincidence. I like to think that this story is like Lolita if Lolita had gotten revenge on Humbert and showed him what an awful human he truly was.
The real excitement begins when Ellen Page’s character, Haley, drugs and ties up Jeff. When he comes to she asks him about his obsession with young girls, interrogates him about where he keeps his stash of child pornograpby and initially he denies everything, but Hayley knows what she’s doing. So she tears his house apart, and eventually she does find a safe, the more we watch the more we realize Hayley has done her research, she gets the code by knowing the date that Jeff and Janelle forster slept together, it’s then that the pictures are revealed, one of a girl named Donna Mauer, she had been missing for weeks and she was the reason Hayley was after Jeff in the first place. At this point Jeff can’t deny that he is in fact a pedophile, but he did not kill Donna. He fights back kicking Hayley to the ground and rolling in the chair he’s tied to to the room where a gun is hiding, but before he can shoot Hayley, she’s suffocating him with plastic wrap.
After Jeff wakes up again, he’s on an operation table, Hayley is going to castrate him, the next few scenes is just the back and forth of her saying she’s going to do it and him begging her not to and the audience left not knowing which side to root for, because on one side we have a 14 year old girl about to remove someone’s body parts with no anesthetic or real sterilization, just a disposable razor and a pair of scissors, and on the other you have a pedophile, to be fair both sides are pretty icky, this is not an exchange anyone wants to watch.
Hayley does end up performing the operation and tells Jeff she’s going to shower. While she’s in the shower Jeff frees himself, and realizes she faked the operation, he grabs I knife and goes to attack her in the shower. Of course, she was never in the shower at all, it was a trick! She pushes him down and tazes him. He’s out cold, she starts to clean up the evidence that she was ever there. He crawls out to try to kill her, she tazes him again, she ties him up with a noose around his neck and tells him that if he kills himself she will dispose all the evidence that he was a pedophile and she would leave; if he didn’t, everyone would find out. He does end up getting out of this situation, but not before Hayley called Janelle telling her there was an emergency and that she had to come over. Jeff grabs a knife and chases Hayley onto a roof.. Hayley explain to him that Janelle is on her way and that he could either kill himself or let Janelle see what he had become. Before he kills himself he admits to that he watched Donna get murdered, telling Hayley he could give her the name of the other guy who actually killed her, as it would turn out Hayley and ready tortured and killed him.
The video was right. I don’t think I’ll be watching that movie again, but I give it 13 Oh My Lords out of 9.