Directed By David Slade
Starring Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page
David Slade's film takes a clear stance on pedophilia, its bad don't do it, or else. Jeff (Patrick Wilson) is an attractive photographer who likes to spend his time in internet chat rooms looking for young girls. If you've seen the To Catch A Predator episodes of Dateline you know how many men like Jeff are out there. After striking up a friendship with Hayley (Ellen Page) she agrees to meet him at a coffee shop. A few minutes into the couples date (I guess that's the right word) Jeff makes it clear that he is uncomfortable in the cafe and would like to continue their meeting at his house.
This film is a revenge tale that is both bloody as hell and brilliantly acted. A rare combination. Most films as intense as this one tend to ignore the acting in favor of focusing on effects and gags. While it feels very cinematic (camera work, editing) it also feels like a play. I mean that in the best possible way. The film is driven by dialogue and performance. It mostly takes place in one location but in no way comes across as stagey.
To go any further with the plot details would give too much away. While this film was a success back in 2005 when it was released, it feels like a forgotten film. It could be that Ellen Page followed up this film with Juno and well, we all remember Juno. It could also be the subject matter. Pedophilia is an icky subject. Not one that people like to revisit. While this film wrestles with a dark subject it does so in a subtle manor. The violence is brutal but the writing and performances ground the film in a way that few other horror films do.
This is not the kind of horror film that makes a great date movie. You won't jump and hold your partner closer as the film reveals itself. In fact this might be the anti-date movie. With that being said I still highly recommend it. The film is currently streaming on Hulu and I have an embeded copy below.