- Hard Candy
Watched this with Dreww's comments
in mind. In the initial moments after finishing it I was unsure how I felt, but after writing down some thoughts I became more fully in its favor. What makes it come across so viscerally (which connects with Drew's torture porn comments) is that the veneer of justification Jeff's crime gives to Hayley's actions, and the sliver of humanity that you can still see in Hayley (more on this) brings out just how sick it is in a way that torture porn, enjoyed as
torture porn, disguises, because in a film like that the torturer can be treated as a brute, as outside the realm of ethics altogether. Not here. And I think the "overacting" is actually substantially what reveals this, because I agree with Dreww that she is acting, and moreover she is not entirely acting well
—that's one of the hints you get that she's not entirely comfortable, that she's only done this once before. And that's necessary to see her as human, as salvageable, which is itself necessary for the film to hit as viscerally as it does.
Dug the Blonde Redhead at the end.
Edit: Interesting that the first trope on TVTropes is "Abuse Is Okay When It's Female On Male"—because I think that's totally wrong, and misses the film entirely. Or at least what I think is the substantial element of the film, if you're not going to treat it as torture porn that makes you feel all morally good inside.