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YMMV: Hard Candy
  • Acceptable Targets: Some have theorized that Hayley is just a sociopathic sadist who looks for socially acceptable targets, like pedophiles.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Both characters are subject to this, more so Hayley.
    • A lot of people seem to think Hayley was molested or otherwise abused, driving her to seek revenge on men like the one who hurt her, which does change things up a bit.
    • Page even mentions on the blu-ray commentary that Hayley being raped by her father was one of the backstories fans brought up for her, but gave no confirmation.
    • As mentioned in the Acceptable Targets entry, some people have theorized that Hayley is just a sadistic, budding Serial Killer who fixates on Acceptable Targets so that her "handiwork" can be interpreted as vigilantism.
    • Haley was just in Jeff's head. The fact that she went to such effort to clean up all evidence that she was ever there, and the importance she placed on him killing himself, could be interpretted as a sign of this.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Elephant Woman by Blonde Redhead
  • Just Here for Godzilla: That torture scene.
  • Love It or Hate It: A lot of people think this film is brilliant. Just as many think it's a ham-fisted piece of unsubtle crap with a twisted message.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hayley Stark can hunt down pedos, make them think they hunted her and then convince them to kill themselves.
  • Mind Game Ship: Hayley and Jeff's entire interaction with each other.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The ambiguity of the film strikes again.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Both characters cross it. Jeff crosses it offscreen, in the backstory, by virtue of being a predatory hebephile, Hayley during the castration scene.
  • Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize: Surprisingly subverted. Sandra Oh, despite appearing in several famous movies and shows (including a starring role in Grey's Anatomy) has been placed in a One-Scene Wonder role as an extra; despite being very suspicious of Hayley, she disappears for the rest of the plot (besides Jeff using her suspicion to try and make Hayley paranoid) acting as a human Red Herring of sorts.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Though both of the protagonists themselves are established as villains, some fans found it easy for root for Hayley herself.

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