“‘Welcome to my parlor.’ said the Spider to the Fly.” The statement from Mary Howitt’s poem The Spider and The Fly echos the predator and prey relationship. Imagine if you will the scenario of the Spider being the unknowing prey and the Fly with a secret of it’s own.
In Hard Candy Ellen Page is the predatory Fly and Patrick Wilson is the preyed upon Spider.
She poses as an innocent and susceptible 14 year old girl in search of an older man for comfort and security, Patrick Wilson the mid 30 year old man seeking to satisfy his unnatural and perverted desire to despoil and corrupt youth falls into her plot. This innocent girl is not as defenseless or naive as she appears, she plans to enter Wilson’s parlor and place him into a false sense of security in order to forcibly make him face his demons in a deadly trap she creates in his personal safe space.
There are so many layers I can’t go into without ruining key plot structures and spoiling the grand construct of what the Director David Slade portrays. I will say Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson are strong forces that drive this movie and I feel if the cast was different the film would lack the essential ingredients that makes it so beautifully orchestrated.
Page transforms seamlessly from sweet and sultry to teenage harbinger for punishment with a frightening desire to teach this man a lesson in morality. Wilson’s character on the opposite end of the spectrum thinks he is the one with the powerful influence but when the fictitious sense of power is shifted the audience is at ethical odds considering who to sympathize with. The unethical means of dispensing judgement is torturous on physical and psychological levels but then again the individual enduring it is the vilest form of human being in a cultured society. Hard Candy is like watching a a spider lure a fly into it’s web but right as the spider is about to strike and sink it’s fangs the fly turns to reveal it has the jaws of a lion and will not let go.