With a premise taken straight from "Dateline NBC" (handsome 32-year-old guy ensnares uncomfortably mature 14-year-old girl via sexually suggestive Internet chats), director David Slade's ickily effective "Hard Candy" can't sustain the nerve-fraying tension of its early scenes, falling prey to blustery, breathless monologues as the film's climax drags on.
Despite its collapse in the final third, "Hard Candy" nevertheless features a startling performance from the waifish Ellen Page ("X-Men: The Last Stand") and a cold-blooded turn from Patrick Wilson "? in a film where pins and needles give way to sighs and frustration, writer Brian Nelson seems, unfortunately, to be lost as to how to resolve his harrowing setup.
Following a blink-and-you'll-miss-it theatrical run, "Hard Candy" arrives on a nicely outfitted disc that includes a pair of commentaries from Wilson, Page, Slade and Nelson, as well as deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more. Give it a rental spin.