Hard Candy | Crooked Media
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July 25, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Hard Candy

In This Episode

Halle and Alison talk catfishing, castration, and Patrick Wilson while ruining Hard Candy.





[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a horror movie podcast where we spoil a horror movie. Just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for you guys. Halle, how are you doing? 


Halle Kiefer: Life continues. Nature will find a way. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s been a minute since I talked about my ADHD journey, but it continues apace. And I have reached a level of there’s a very classic ADHD phenomenon where if you’re listening, that’s where you. You create piles out of everything you own. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And my dear friend Jess Burkle, who has appeared on the podcast before as a guest co-host, refers to it, I refer to it as squalor, and he refers to it as the squalór to make me feel better. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I like that. 


Halle Kiefer: The level of squalór in my home right now is truly one for the one for the record books. And I really struggle with that as something that I have. That is what I tend towards when I’m not, you know, sort of I want to say, living my best life. That’s not what what we’re talking about, but it is. Um, yeah, it’s just I am deeply ashamed of it and I don’t want anyone to see it, which makes a recording in my apartment. So anxiety inducing. I don’t think you could see anything horrible. 


Alison Leiby: I can’t see anything. 


Halle Kiefer: Great. 


Alison Leiby: All I can see is your gorgeous hair and your fabulous—


Halle Kiefer: Thank you. 


Alison Leiby: —paint color and a little bit of a very mid-century modern looking lamp. The end. 


Halle Kiefer: Well that’s. Thank you. I appreciate that. How you doing, Alison? 


Alison Leiby: I’m good. New York, I guess the like lantern bugs, is that what they’re called? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh they’re back?


Alison Leiby: Yeah but they’re like really—


Halle Kiefer: Spotted lantern bugs? Is that what they’re called?


Alison Leiby: They’re they’re like the red and white spots—


Halle Kiefer: They are beautiful. 


Alison Leiby: They are beautiful, but they’re back. And I’ve been seeing they’ve been hanging out on my balcony and I really want to be able to walk in and out without being afraid that they’re getting in so I can water my plants and dry my towels out there and boy, there. But it’s their littler. Like, I remember like seeing the full—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: —grown ones last year. Now they’re like, really tiny. I killed one earlier on the street, but I guess I have to just stay vigilant. But they’re back. 


Halle Kiefer: Are the little ones are they like the maybe the juvenile version? 


Alison Leiby: Maybe? Yeah. Maybe They’re like, this is for the new season. I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Ooh. For the new season, a new a fun new look. 


Alison Leiby: Everybody’s a small bug now. 


Halle Kiefer: Also. I mean, I meant to send it to you. Fuck. I’m sorry. I should’ve done this earlier. There’s somebody posted a TikTok video of somebody is learning the acoustic guitar and has their sliding glass door open behind them. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I’ve seen exactly what you’re talking about. A hawk—


Halle Kiefer: And a hawk flies in. 


Alison Leiby: Flies in. And their dog is there a dog or cat? 


Halle Kiefer: I believe dog. Yeah, goes nuts.


Alison Leiby: Their dog is freaking out and she’s like, shut up. Stop it, stop, I’m playing—


Halle Kiefer: I’m learning my Ani DiFranco.


Alison Leiby: I’m learning songs. And then she turns and there’s a giant fucking hawk sitting next to her on her couch. It is so. [laughter] And then she, like, freaks out and, like, runs away, and the camera catches, like, the hawk finally flying out. 


Halle Kiefer: But yes. And her soda spills on her computer. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is the most tragic aspect of it. 


Alison Leiby: It is really horrific. But I have 100% seen that. And it is truly terrifying. But also, like, that’s why I don’t like leaving windows open without screens. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, with a cat, you can’t be doing that. I feel like—


Alison Leiby: No, oh no, no. Would never—


Halle Kiefer: —you turn around, and you just see Rizz being swept into the sky.


Alison Leiby: No, no, no. He’s an indoor buddy. Hey, buddy. Oh, yeah. Took a nappy.


Halle Kiefer: This year I’m going to. I am going to get a dog by the end of the year. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s what I’m thinking I’m really—


Alison Leiby: No rats? 


Halle Kiefer: Well, I just look at the way I live, and I’m like, I just don’t think rats. 


Alison Leiby: They might already be there for all, you know? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, absolutely. I can’t. I literally lived with a mouse in my last apartment in Queens, and I was just like, I can’t fix the situation. So it’s just it is what it is. We’re introducing rats to the squalór. Feels a bit much. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that feels like a hat on a hat really.


Halle Kiefer: Feels, yeah, exactly right. It looks like they probably have rats in here. I can’t—


Alison Leiby: Hat on a rat.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, and now I’m back on board. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. [both speaking]


Halle Kiefer: No, but I do want a dog, and, I mean, listen, I could make little hats for my dog. I feel like I’m on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That kind of path. 


Alison Leiby: Oh absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: And no one can stop me. This is America before they take away that fucking right. I’m sorry. That’s on the fucking Constitution, you fucking idiots. I’m gonna make tiny hats for my dog you fucking choke on it. [laughter] So if someone could send this episode to Samuel Alito, that would be great. But in the meantime, this is oh our last episode. Not as many Tuesdays in July, because the holiday—


Alison Leiby: Well we had a holiday. 


Halle Kiefer: And just like the way that like the like the first August 1st is on a Tuesday just the way that the days are—


Alison Leiby: Yes it all lined up. So we only had a few episodes, but I feel like we really made them count. 


Halle Kiefer: We really did. And we always try to. And we’re the final one of jaw dropper July is an off requested movie that we hadn’t done yet, and It Is Hard Candy starring Elliot Page and Patrick Wilson. I boy, I’ll tell you, this really stuck with me. Did I see this in theaters? Jesus, I might have. It’s a it’s a it’s a tough look. We always like to have Alison watch the trailer. Alison. What are your thoughts about the Hard Candy trailer? 


Alison Leiby: Aye, aye, aye, I mean—


Halle Kiefer: You said it. 


Alison Leiby: Aye, aye, aye, that I that’s how I feel about it. It’s a very it’s like it has all of the things that are like very scary to watch and like I think I vaguely remember this trailer like this coming out like we were in college, I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah 2005. Yes, I feel like, I saw this. Yeah, in college. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s pretty chilling. Like to think of like being a young person. This, you know, it feels so it feels like there’s so much going on in the, in the terrifying space of, like, abduction, catfishing, predatory age gaps. But then, you know, as as a almost 40 year old woman watching this, I’m like, damn, he’s so hot. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Oh, interesting. You know? And that was actually going to be my baseline scary. How scary is a fact that sometimes pedophiles are hot? How scary do you find that fact? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, it’s like the thing is hot people can do anything and that includes—


Halle Kiefer: And we let them, we let them get away with it. 


Alison Leiby: We let them do whatever they want and we shouldn’t. No. But it is like I mean, it feels like the best disguise, like the scary like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Where it’s like if you’re, like, a handsome man in his thirties like no one’s suspecting you of—


Halle Kiefer: The world is your oyster. 


Alison Leiby: Pedophilia and crimes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is interesting because I feel like that’s a it’s a big decade for that kind of thing. You get a lot done if you’re committing pedophilia and crimes. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: If you’re a white man in your thirties. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like, oh, under the guise of hotness, we allow horrific things to happen. And I it is interesting how we and I’m the same way. I’m not saying I’m any better, but there is some part there is a part of culture that we’re all indoctrinated to where it’s like, well, it can’t be that bad. They’re hot. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, there is something about that that like, our brain is like. But they’re appealing and appealing people don’t like. It’s just so strange. 


Halle Kiefer: Both sides of their face are symmetrical. How can they be evil? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. They got like one weird tooth and then lazy eyes. I mean, that’s most of us. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I do feel like it’s like how we code disability as evil. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And also queerness as evil. 


Alison Leiby: Queerness and fatness—


Halle Kiefer: Oh, the other is evil rather than boy. Yeah, yeah. If you look at history, a lot of evil done by a lot of just regular guys. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Regular rather regular guys, regular jobs and you wouldn’t necessarily know. And yet we’re so shocked every time. 


Alison Leiby: So shocked. 


Halle Kiefer: We watch a pedophile that yeah, like be like a werewolf or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But instead they turn us into werewolves, which is. Which is interesting. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, that is one of the, one of the hard parts of watching this is Patrick Wilson is a handsome man. 


Alison Leiby: Handsome man. 


Halle Kiefer: And again, something I, something absurd on Twitter where it’s like to be as talented as Patrick Wilson and be committed to not really being famous. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like he’s been in everything and everyone—


Alison Leiby: Everything. 


Halle Kiefer: But he’s still someone that occasionally I’ll see and be like, what is that motherfucker’s name? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, right. It’s Patrick Wilson. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s true. But yeah, very horrifying trailer. Very handsome man. Reconciling that in my brain as we speak. 


Halle Kiefer: Speaking of a handsome man, I consulted with a trans masculine coworker and friend of mine. Shout out to Ari and another of the Crooked family about basically how to use pronouns with regards to Elliot Page, who was you know—


Alison Leiby: That was absolutely going to be a question of mine when we’re talking about a role from the past. And—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, yeah. And because now Elliot Page, you know, in real life obviously is he, they, and I really want to read his book because I, watching this—


Alison Leiby: Yeah I’ve heard it’s great. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah it’s, it’s, it’s interesting to think about his career as a, as a transmasculine person, as a trans man in Hollywood. And God, I just feel so bad because I feel like every time a conservative needs to, like, come up with a trans person in Hollywood, they’re like—


Alison Leiby: I know. 


Halle Kiefer: —there just aren’t that many, you know what I mean, like, I feel like Elliot page is constantly becoming—


Alison Leiby: Everybody becomes the target. It’s really awful. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s like he was he did some interview with like, oh, he looks horrible. It’s like, you think that this isn’t psychologically very difficult on every trans person to, like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Have to go and be like, I wrote a book. Please, you know, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, to then like, yeah it’s—


Halle Kiefer: Of course he doesn’t look thrilled. I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But based on some research online and consulting with my friend, basically we’re going to refer to Elliot Page, obviously by his pronouns in real life and then refer to the character as she, her, because the character is—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: A girl, you know, a cis, teen girl in the context of the movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And that seems to be kind of the standard of how people would talk about people who have worked and then transitioned. So we’re going to do that. If anyone has any thoughts, feel free to message us. We obviously want to be respectful.


Alison Leiby: Yeah we are open to all of the learning that there can possibly be on treating people respectfully and appropriately in this—


Halle Kiefer: You know we’re dumb as hell, so you know we’re gonna fuck up some. 


Alison Leiby: —confusing, you know, we’re figuring it out and and please. 


Halle Kiefer: And we’re dumb as fuck. 


Alison Leiby: Help us do that. We’re so stupid. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: We’re so fucking stupid but we’re going to really try our best here. So before we get started, Alison, based on the trailer, which again, the early takeaway was Patrick Wilson is hot [laughter] based on the trailer. Would you like to guess the twist in Hard Candy? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: Now, I have not seen this movie, nor do I really remember discourse about it. But I do have a guess from the trailer about the twist. My guess is that Elliot Page’s character actually catfished him. Patrick Wilson, because Elliot Page’s character knew that he had been predatory towards other people that they knew and instead was like, I will be the bait to trap and kill this man who has been hurting other people. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, Alison, I think you hit the nail on the head with that one. 


Alison Leiby: I mean the trailer also, like I mean, it gives you a lot to work with. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And shout out to the director, it was directed by David Slade, written by Brian Nelson. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Also, there is nothing funnier to me than names that are similar to other names like David Slade being so close to David Spade. I’m just like, it just always is funny to me. And no one, Natasha and I always think it’s so funny. There were like two guys in college, who had like very similar names that we really just like laugh and laugh and they’re like, they’re just our names. Like, I don’t know what to tell you. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: This is totally a non-sequitur. But just you mention colleges and I went when I went to college, everyone at Notre Dame is named Steve or Mike. 


Alison Leiby: Oh sure. 


Halle Kiefer: If you’re a man. And if you’re a woman, it was, I think, like Lauren or Catherine, a lot of Katie’s. And—


Alison Leiby: That makes sense. 


Halle Kiefer: —recently a gentleman that just, you know, just so like someone that you knew, like in passing, I think I had mutual friends. I’m on a college chat, as we all are. And it came up that this person who just a Steve randomly came up and someone said, did you know that this motherfucker invented a like a sex app app or not sex act, I mean, shoutout to anyone who’s still inventing— 


Alison Leiby: I mean, if you’re making up a sex act at this point. 


Halle Kiefer: Hell yes. 


Alison Leiby: I think it’s all been done, but keep going. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s awesome. Good for you. 


Alison Leiby: Good for you. 


Halle Kiefer: Honest to God, you can fucking relax after that. No, He created an app I’m trying to find. His name is not in an article for the app, but I get that, you know, whatever it is, the app is called  Headero, h e a d e r o, the only hookup app for oral pleasure and inclusive sexual exploration. So it is a—


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Sexuality and gender inclusive app for people to get together and give each other head. 


Alison Leiby: I love it—


Halle Kiefer: And it has, it’s currently on Apple, it has 3.1 reviews. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like of all the Steve’s I’ve been maybe just like and I’m sure your college maybe was different like there is no Steve that I knew at Notre Dame that I thought would be coming out with Headero also it doesn’t seem like that’s a, that’s a if anything the problem with it is a confusing name because it’s not just hetero. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. When you first said it [both speaking] I was like, oh no, what is this? Aye. I know it’s like a Catholic college or whatever. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so I think the larger problem, which seems to be the reviews I’m reading, is that there aren’t a lot of women on this. I think that’s probably [laughter] a problem. It’s called the Ashley Madison problem, where it turns out like most of women were bots or whatever, and I just feel like they’re all the other apps that exist like Grinder, Feeld, those are also oral sex apps. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Should you choose to use it. 


Alison Leiby: So yeah, just ask for what you like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I so I think it’s just sort of like it’s a good idea but it is perhaps there it might not have the base of people moving just for getting head. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Just for getting head.


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean? That, that perhaps would be my takeaway. Anyways shout out to whatever Steve that was for, hey, you got to try it again. Inventing a new app. If you’re out there, if you invent a new sex app act or a sex app, let us know. I guess if you invent a new sex act, let us know. But do it courteous way. [both speaking] You know, be. Don’t be gross about it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, I guess if you really did invent something new, please let us know. So let’s begin ruining Hard Candy. We open on a chat. Alison, what was your. Were you on? Because to me. I been living in a rural area. My first I wasn’t really in chat rooms. I was just on AIM. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And it wasn’t that much because we had dial up, but I also had two siblings, so it was sort of like we were constantly fighting over that. So I was never like, I am in a chat room, I am meeting people, I’m talking to people. Did you have that experience? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I. Like, I think like there was like when AOL kind of like first came into all of our homes, I remember like me and some girlfriends, like kind of huddling around somebody’s home computer, like getting in a chat room and being like, there’s three of us, like, just kind of not know, like we were like, you know, 12 or 13 maybe. But most I would say like almost all of my use of kind of the Internet in those days was just AIM like messaging other people that I knew. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like I wasn’t really like interested in the stranger elements of the internet stranger, being like, stranger as in people I don’t know, not like the stranger elements. 


Halle Kiefer: And that was always like one of the first things. It’s funny, people always make this observation like one of the first things we were told is like, you can’t trust a stranger on the internet. Do not talk to adults. 


Alison Leiby: Don’t give anybody your information. 


Halle Kiefer: And now it’s those same parents being like, did you read that gum turns people trans? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s just like I read it on Facebook from insane conspiracy theories dot net, you know, like, okay [laughter] I you know, we could we couldn’t keep it together. Yeah, I was never in a chat room I often think like if I knew I was queer when I was younger, like, would I have been online more. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: And, and what that would have been like. And who knows? Because what this suggests is perhaps that’s not a great experience. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So we see two people chatting Lensman319 and then Thonggrrrl, all r’s so three r’s, 14. So in case you’re like, oh, is this person 14? It’s 14.


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, I think after Catch a Predator, I hope I don’t think this applies to anyone who is listing, but you know that this is all a sting. Like it’s just like if you were. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So fucking depraved as to try to meet underage teens. Now know that it will end with you going to prison and having your life ruined. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Absolutely. As it should. 


Halle Kiefer: As it absolutely should. Also, what was your AIM, AIM name. Do you remember? 


Alison Leiby: I think it was like. Swim something with the word swim in in it because I was swimming. 


Halle Kiefer: They made that movie about you, Swimfan? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, Swimfan. That’s about me. It was like. Swimgirl105. Like, it was just like a very. And I remember, like, one of my friends was like, it was like Swimguy something. And I just don’t, I don’t remember the specifics, but it was like something like that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think mine was so Smallyk like, small y, k, because I was we all smell based nicknames, so it was like my friend Michelle was my Mismell. Kelly was Smelly. I was Smally. I believe it was Smallyk84. Because that’s the year I was born. I think that’s what it was. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see them chatting and Lensman319 says, so should we finally hook up baby? And Thonggrrrl14 says, I’m not a baby. I keep telling you. Do you think a baby reads Zadie Smith? And so immediately she’s trying to prove that she’s older. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Lensman319 replies, I don’t know. Babies pretend to read. Alison, you’ve ever seen a baby pretend to read? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, they do love holding those crinkle books, but—


Halle Kiefer: They’re always upside down. 


Alison Leiby: They’re not fooling me. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re true, that’s fair. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Nice try, baby. 


Halle Kiefer: Nice try. You’re a fucking idiot. We know you can’t fucking read.


Alison Leiby: You can’t read that’s upside down, baby. 


Halle Kiefer: We see our protagonist, Hayley, played by Elliot Page, typing oh so you study babies? Girl. Unfortunately, he does okay. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’s kind of his whole deal. 


Halle Kiefer: And he replies, even the only what I study is you. It’s like okay. 


Alison Leiby: Enough. 


Halle Kiefer: Like when you acknowledge it. It’s not like it’s like have some decorum. But of course he doesn’t, which is why he’s going to meet a 14 year old girl in real life. 


Alison Leiby: Gross. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, well, what are you doing right now and he says, besides fantasizing over you? And she says, you know, you could fill me with your camera. Then you wouldn’t have to fantasize. I was like, they need to catch this predator. I already—


Alison Leiby: Catch this predator. 


Halle Kiefer: Like just the anxiety of this exchange. And he says, oh, you know, that’s very doable. And she replies, just like me, I’m kidding. But my big sister could drop me off at Nighthawks, which is a coffee shop in their town in an hour. I just need to shower if you want to meet me. And he says, okay, great, I’ll meet you and I’ll picture you in the shower. And they have this, like, flirty little exchange. And I think that this is like, why the movie works is that Patrick Wilson is so hot. I think if it was anyone, even a drop less hot, you’d be like, I would shoot this man in the head myself. 


Alison Leiby: 100%. 


Halle Kiefer: But you see him, you’re like, I visually am not disgusted, so I will allow this to play out. 


Alison Leiby: There is something about it where you’re just like. All right. Let’s see what he is going to say. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ll allow it. 


Alison Leiby: I’ll allow it. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, like, it is like hot people. It’s like, all right, I’ll allow this. I’ll I’ll watch this at least. So he arrives. He’s got his camera out. So, like, you know where we’re headed with this. And he finds Hayley, of course, played by Elliot Page, who is eating chocolate cake and is like, what, a and is playing to it in a what was the name of that movie, Young White Female. What was it? I didn’t see it. The winner was nominated for Best Screenplay. White women. Blondes. Promising Young Woman. 


Alison Leiby: Oh okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So the Promising Young Woman of it all, is that you could tell. 


Alison Leiby: We got there. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Hayley is like playing into what they they’re a predator’s idea of a teen girl would be. Where it’s like, oh, my gosh. Like, I’m so embarrassed. I have chocolate frosting in my mouth. It’s like, well, yeah, you were eating a piece of cake. You know, it’s just sort of like, I would just want to be so sophisticated when you come in and it’s it’s Elliot Page. And then also, like, he has a little pixie cut, so it’s like Hayley looks even younger than she is. And I will say I remember, like, the gantlet between like 11 and 14 of having, like, creepy men come up to me. I’m a very privileged white cis woman. So it’s like—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —even I remember, like, those experiences in, like, the most privileged thing, like that shit, fuck fucking damages your brain. 


Alison Leiby: It truly does. Like we don’t talk enough about how damaging that—


Halle Kiefer: That time period is. 


Alison Leiby: That time period is where you suddenly go from being like a true child. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: To still being a child. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But looking like a woman. 


Halle Kiefer: And the way that—


Alison Leiby: Or like having some of the appeal of a woman that you see is fucking men are like, oh, she’s got tits now I can talk to her. And it’s like, you can’t. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. I remember being 11 in the fifth grade, like, C cup boobs, like, you know, in an adult woman’s body, 11 year old mind. I remember being at the beach and having a guy like, come talk to me and essentially try to get me in his van. And fortunately, I didn’t do it. I knew enough. I hadn’t received enough information to be like, what? I’m not going to do that. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But it was just sort of like, oh, I guess it’s just like I’m supposed to accept this as part of life. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Because I’ve been warned this will happen. It wasn’t like, this is horrible and we’re trying to stop this from happening. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s just sort of like, yeah, like some disgusting man’s going to try to kidnap you and that’s just going to happen to you.


Alison Leiby: Just don’t do it. 


Halle Kiefer: And we’re not going to do that anymore. We’re going to fix that because we’re going to we’re going to really get rid of the patriarchy this time. But I—


Alison Leiby: Yes this time we mean it. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m only a little bit joking. And she says, oh, do you want some of this cake? It’s delicious. And Jeff says sure. And he, like, wipes the frosting off her lip and pops his thumb in his mouth. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: So I think they’re setting up. It’s like it is Patrick Wilson like, it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: If you were 14 and Patrick Wilson talked to you, you’d be like, oh, yeah, I’ll talk to him, you know, like, of course, you know. But—


Alison Leiby: I’m 39 and I’m like, talk to me. 


Halle Kiefer: And so but, you know, as soon as he takes the frosting off Hayley’s mouth, like he’s dead, like he will be dead during the movie at some point, sooner rather than later. And she’s like, I’ll be honest. Like, you don’t seem like the kind of guy who has to meet girls online, it’s like, well, yeah, because he wants to meet children online. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s like, you know, it’s so much better to meet people beforehand and really get to know them. Like, I know from being a photographer, like, people’s faces can lie. And she’s like, well, my does my face lie? And he says, let’s see your face says you listen to John Mayer and you love Monty Python and you love chocolate. And she’s like, oh, that’s great. You’re like an excellent judge of character. You knew that. It’s like, oh, no, you’re you’re 14. And he’s like, actually, if you want more chocolate, she orders like candy. And they take a seat and he sort of starts quizzing her on her life, you know, and she’s like, talk about the books she’s reading in between them on the corkboard. Alison we see a missing poster for a girl named Donna Mauer. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. 


Halle Kiefer: And in that conversation, in a way that I’m not saying no 14 year old would do, but no 14 year old with an adult man. I find that hard to believe, keeps dropping these like very overly sexual, like flirty lines. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, I just I’ve never met a 14 year old that wasn’t like screaming at their mother at the mall. You know what I mean like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, that’s really more where you’re at. Like.


Alison Leiby: Yeah just kind of, like, angstily growling in, like a limited two dressing room. [laughs]. 


Halle Kiefer: And trying not to get your period in gym class. Like, it’s more that’s what you’re trying to work on, you know? And he says, what are you reading? And she says, oh, a book about Jean Seberg. Seberg. She slept with all the wrong people and ended up killing herself. And Jeff’s like, well, I hope you don’t do that. And Hayley laughs and says—


Alison Leiby: Buddy. 


Halle Kiefer: No, I plan to sleep with all the right people. And again, it’s like that’s not—


Alison Leiby: You wouldn’t even know to say that at that age.


Halle Kiefer: No. You’d just be like, goo, boo. She’s also reading Romeo and Juliet, of course, star crossed lovers, and she said, It’s a ninth grade book. So she also keeps bringing up her age. You know, it’s a ninth grade book, but I’m trying to finish it before the end of the summer. So she’s not even in high school yet, right. There’s a big textbook in her bag. And he’s like, what is that? She goes, oh, and she covers it up. She’s like, you know, my dad let me audit one of his med school courses. He’s like, oh, so you must go to US, UCW and like, sit with all the grad students. Do they hit on you? She’s like, no, they wouldn’t hit on a 14 year old. They’re old enough to be my dad. And then she realized that he’s old. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like no, but they’re bad, older, not like you. Like you’re like, cool, older, you know? And Jeff’s like, well, you know, you act really mature for your age and you’re definitely older. And he and she’s sort of like fluttering her eyelashes and she’s admiring there’s a T shirt for the coffee shop that has Nighthawks. Oh, my God. Fuck the name. Oh, who did Nighthawks? The the piece of art. Where it’s people at a diner. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. Hopper? 


Halle Kiefer: Edward Hopper. There we go. She’s like, that’s a really cool shirt. He’s like, how about you get it? How about I get it for you and you try it on for me? So she goes to change in the bathroom and he’s like, waiting outside the door, and she’s like, God, I hate not being able to drive. I missed Elizabeth Wurtzel when she was at USC and I missed the Goldfrapp concert. You know, he’s like, this is crazy. I actually went to that concert and I have a bootleg MP3 of the concert. I’ll send to you. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. This is the most 2005 thing I’ve ever heard. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. I was like, yeah damn. 


Alison Leiby: MP3. Granted, I couldn’t tell you what we record these as they could. This could be an MP3 for all I know.


Halle Kiefer: I think it is a bootleg MP3 I’ll be honest. [laughter] And she’s like, oh, you’re not going to. You’re going to forget you’re going to home, you’re not going to email it. How about we just go to your place and listen to it, basically. And he like, listen, I have to wait. I’m going to wait four years for you. I think you could wait a couple hours for me to email this. And you can listen at home. But again, she’s going to be put off. She’s on a she’s a she’s on a mission. Right. And she’s like, you know, I really want to listen to this. Well, what’s the alternative I bring you to my house? I just met you. You’re 14 and she’s in the restroom changing, and they’re flirting through the door. And she says—


Alison Leiby: Is anyone else in the coffee shop? Like, oh, that’s weird, because they didn’t show up together and he doesn’t seem to be her dad. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. If I saw this, I would call 911. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely immediately. 


Halle Kiefer: And I know it was different. I guess it was God, it was almost 20 years ago, so maybe like—


Alison Leiby: That sucks. 


Halle Kiefer: And and I will say and this is I was just thinking recently, like, I definitely feel like it being you know coming out later. It’s like all the things I sort of accepted as like just true and reality. And I remember being so shocked when people were like, men can’t catcall us anymore. I was like, we can ask them not to do that because I feel like—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —our people we’re so entrenched. Like this is just what men are like and we can’t ask them to change. And even that I was like, well, why weren’t we asking them to do that? Like, well, what  what do you mean? But in a hopeful way? So this was kind of right along that where it’s like, what if things could be a little bit better? Also, remember this is the time period where it was also  the question of are women funny? God we’ve come a long way in 20 years. [laughs]


Alison Leiby: Have we though?


Halle Kiefer: Well that’s the things we have. But that’s why there’s all this pushback. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like we have actually we have made progress—


Alison Leiby: We actually come much funnier than like Christopher Hitchens being like I can tell you they’re not that. 


Halle Kiefer: That guy’s getting waterboarded in heaven. Naomi’s having a great fucking time up there. Yeah, Yeah. We can talk about Christopher Hitchens all day long. [both speaking] But he says, I’m a photographer. I shoot models for a living. You know, there’s no I wouldn’t peek on you. I’ve seen it all. And Hayley opens the door, and she’s just wearing, like, sort of a gray sports bralette and says, have you seen this? And then shuts it. So again, and this also was an area of like Vice, like Girls Gone Wild, like Jailbait. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like the idea of like this, like really misogynistic idea of like really young girls being like. And I people still talk like that now, obviously. 


Alison Leiby: Yes of course. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m not saying that’s gone away. 


Alison Leiby: Like, but that was kind of like part of the zeitgeist as opposed to like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: A kind of like silo of pedophiles. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. And again, I think that’s progress. I think. 


Alison Leiby: I think so too. 


Halle Kiefer: You don’t have to see or hear about jailbait. I think it’s a yeah big step forward.


Alison Leiby: That’s a nice. It’s a better culture. 


Halle Kiefer: Whew. And finally, then when she shuts the door, Jeff’s like, actually, you know, you can come to my house and I’ll play the concert. And she’s like, it’ll be fine. She comes out with a shirt on, says like, let’s think about it. Like, it’ll be fine. I’ve been here with you, so I’m not worried. Like, if something were to happen, me, like people here saw me, too. It’s Goldfrapp. I fucking love Goldfrapp, which I think is also a very funny band from that era to be like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t even not that I didn’t like Goldfrapp. I just don’t think of—


Alison Leiby: At all.


Halle Kiefer: That yeah. And he goes three. She goes, three, four, four out of five doctors agree I’m insane. So in order to like to come over to your house, I’d really be being true to myself. So let’s do it right. And she’s acting like she’s 20 or something or like at least 18. Like, aware in a way that a 14 year old would not be. 


Alison Leiby: Just is not. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And they take the elevator up to the roof where Jeff is parked and they have again, this also like horny little moment where she says like about like this is a badass car. He’s like, oh my God. Like the fact you even said that makes me want to bow down and worship you. And she says, well why don’t you do you, why don’t you worship me? And he gets on his hands and knees and he kisses her feet. And there is something to about like projecting like full womanhood on a really young girl. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: That I imagine people still do, but was such a big thing back then where it’s like, that’s not what a 14 year old’s doing. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, maybe when they’re like 20, I mean, like it’s just like sort of like projecting all this stuff, like, oh, well, she’s a full woman. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, she is a woman and, you know, that kind of thing. And he says, get in the car is like, do you want to call your sister and tell her where you’re going? She’s like, I’ll just do it later and off we go. And we see them chatting and Hayley smiling. And then at one point you see Hayley look out the passenger window and when she’s turned away from Jeff, her, her smile just kind of slides off her face. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And even just I almost it’s like this is like filling me with anxiety where it’s like the idea of like, oh, right. Wanting to have sex with a 14 year old is so bizarre and awful. Unless you’ve totally created a fictional 14 year old in your head, does that make sense? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, whatever this is going for, it’s like he this is already bad from jump and obviously we’re going to be subverting it throughout the film. So at his house, Hayley listens to the concert and you Alison have you ever listened to an MP3 of a concert. You ever listen to a concert? 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: No. Unless it’s like a live album—


Alison Leiby: Unless it’s live and like, live albums and like, songs that were, like, ripped on to LimeWire from a concert, but like—


Halle Kiefer: I remember LimeWire. 


Alison Leiby: I do. I loved it.


Halle Kiefer: I remember listening to try waiting five hours to download [laughter] Rammstein, B-sides, on LimeWire. And probably— 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] That’s exactly what I expected you would be doing on LimeWire. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. No, it’s not an enjoyable because it’s not produced in the way that like a live album is produced by like sound engineers who know how to make it sound good. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I’ll be honest, there’s even some well made, like highly regarded, very popular podcasts. None that not on Crooked Media, but there are some that I have a hard time listening to because—


Alison Leiby: I can’t listen to a live episode. 


Halle Kiefer: When it’s live, it’s not well, it’s not well mixed like the audience is—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So loud. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So I will say, I don’t know why. I feel like we have nailed that. You know, I work for Lovett or Leave It. That’s live. I feel like it’s fine to listen to, but yeah, they’re something about it any who. Jeff comes over, gives Hayley a drink. She says, sorry. They tell us young things not to drink, anything we don’t mix ourselves. So let me pour drinks and so they go to the kitchen and she whips him a screwdriver. Do you have thoughts about the screwdriver, Alison? 


Alison Leiby: I do. Okay. The incarnation—


Halle Kiefer: I thought you would. 


Alison Leiby: The incarnation that most of us are familiar with, which is just cheap vodka and Tropicana orange juice. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Is horrifically disgusting. Don’t drink that. I drank that, you know. In high school, early college days. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: It’s gross. However, Natasha and I went to The Grill, which is in Midtown here in New York, and it’s like mega fan— Like every drink is $29. Like, it’s—


Halle Kiefer: Oh my God. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like we’re like, Adele goes to have dinner, but you could go to the bar and it’s usually like, kind of empty. And you can watch old men with the women that they pay, which is always very funny, just like, what are you talking about? But they do a screwdriver and it’s like vodka, like high end vodka and like, like filtered fresh tangerine juice that they’re making in the back. 


Halle Kiefer: Fuck. 


Alison Leiby: And like—


Halle Kiefer: Well, you know I’m—


Alison Leiby: And like a little bit of, like, bitter, like some kind of, like liquor, like it was I take I was like this the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. But like, that’s not the screwdriver that most people are getting. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And that’s definitely the one they’re drinking. Is is Tropicana. Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Bleh. 


Halle Kiefer: I was just just remind me when Dave Bi Friend of the Pod and I went out to dinner. God, where was it? Oh, is Mr., Mr. Chow, which is like this very famous, extremely expensive. But we just went because it’s like own experience. Expensive restaurant in Beverly Hills, some of the worst fucking food I’ve ever had in my fucking life. I was so mad. I was like, you tricked me into thinking, okay, I’m going to spend a lot of money, but it’s like an experience. Like, you know what I mean, it’s a special event or whatever. You walk in, it’s like, this is dog shit. And while we were there, there was also a table full of three beautiful young ladies. And then I would say a hundred year old man in a pair of light jeans and from the waist up, a full tuxedo. So like, tuxedo, bow tie, jacket vest. 


Alison Leiby: Something. 


Halle Kiefer: And I was like this is a slice of life that you don’t see. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So I guess in that way it was it was—


Alison Leiby: In that way you’re like, yes, that’s what you’re getting. The Grill is similar, like the food is it’s good, but like, I haven’t really eaten there. But if you live in New York, you really want to treat yourself. Go get a fucking screwdriver at The Grill. It’s like the best thing [laughs] I’ve ever tasted. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, don’t go to Mr. Chow. Terrible food and such small portions. Truly. But they’re making, she’s making screwdrivers for them. And they talk about, like, getting older. He says, you know, when you’re 80, I’ll be 98. So he’s 32. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, well, then by then you’ll be useless to me. And he’s like, well, what what use did you have in mind for me? And she doesn’t answer. Well, we see him step into the other room. He has like an office and then like a little room that’s essentially his photography studio. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Where he has like, the, like different color backdrops and different stuff. And she points to all these framed photos of models on the wall. And it’s really interesting because they refer to them a lot, but you don’t see them. So I wonder if the ones they were going to show you are maybe like too scantily clad or like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Maybe it was like muddying what we’re talking about. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because you don’t see when she says, oh, all these photos, you don’t immediately cut to the photos, which I thought was a very something happened there. 


Alison Leiby: Interesting. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she’s like, wow, like, you have so many beautiful women over here. It’s like, oh, yeah, this is my studio. I shoot them in my house. And so, of course, you know, he’s going to start taking her photo at some point. 


Alison Leiby: Obviously. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is also a thing that she was like, I’m a photographer and essentially I’m going to trick women into getting topless. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah 


Halle Kiefer: Woman is under patriarchy, is constantly being afraid of being tricked. And I feel you can see that. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In so many parts of how that affects culture. 


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: And again we, we do have to we have to fix we have to fix the whole thing. 


Alison Leiby: Men be scheming. 


Halle Kiefer: Soup, to nuts. And again, you know, when I see this, I’m like, well, Jeff is going to die at some point. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And they clink glasses and she says carpe ominous because diem isn’t enough, it’s not a day,  and he’s like, oh, so take it all. And she says, take it all. And then she asks, she’s laying it on thick and she’s like, what’s it like to look through your lens at a beautiful woman? And he was like, well, what? What are you talking about? And she says, well, let’s have another screwdriver, then I’ll tell you. So they’re having a second drink. Again, she is 14 years old. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And has only been eating chocolate cake. You know.


Alison Leiby: Cake yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, oh, you want me to tell you how many models I sleep with? They’re all under age. I don’t do that. I’ve really only slept with one. 


Alison Leiby: Sir. 


Halle Kiefer: But I was really young too. 


Alison Leiby: Sir. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. Sir. And he’s like, I only saw one model. But I was young, too. And that photo isn’t out here. It’s in the bedroom. So of course, she insists on going to the bedroom. And they’re all literally like the most basic college photo photography. Like, try to see women’s breasts. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, it is like I will create a career or try to see nude women, which was also the thing I feel like Terry Richardson was such a thing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. That was a whole thing. 


Halle Kiefer: It was like, what? I mean, we know what was happening again. It’s just misogyny, but a whole era at this time. And we see this very beautiful young brunette. And Hayley says, well, what was her name? And she takes a photo of the wall on the back, says Janelle. And it has a date. It’s March 19th, and he takes it back and he’s like weirdly emotional about it. Says, oh, was she like, you’re big your first girlfriend, your first love? And he says, yeah, that’s right. I learned everything I know practicing on her. And Hayley joked, oh, so is that date like, is that the first time you did it? And he she looks again and she’s like, oh my God, I’ve seen her. Like, she’s an actual model. She’s on magazine covers. Oh, you’re still in love with her. Jeff says no, we’ve both moved on. It’s not a big deal. And I wrote, we live in a world curated to men’s sexual fantasies, which is unfortunately the case. 


Alison Leiby: That’s true. 


Halle Kiefer: And we all kind of have to pivot around them as if that isn’t what’s going on, unfortunately. And Hayley takes off her sweatshirt and says, well, now we’re we’re we’re finally getting into it. What if you take photos of me? He says modeling isn’t just about being beautiful. It’s about opening up from a position of strength. It’s not weakness. But as he’s sort of monologuing about being a photographer, his word starts to slur. And Hayley, she’s also a little loopy and she’s had a second drink and runs in the living room and puts on like a techno CD is leaping on the couch and is doing sort of like horny, like licking her thumb and like like running it down her body. He’s like, don’t do that that like, fake MTV, like sex shit. You know, like, just be open. But of course, as he goes to start to take photos, his vision starts to blur as she’s telling him, like, just shoot me, just shoot me. And he yells at her to stop. And he says, Oh, I don’t feel good. And he collapses. Alison When Jeff wakes up, he is tied to an office chair with a sweatshirt over his face. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: A thrilling development, if there ever was one. And Hayley says, hey, sorry, I was just going through your medicine cabinet. No, you didn’t have any of the Valley of the Dolls stuff like I hoped. But what’s with all the lube? And he, of course, looks around, says, well, what’s what’s going on? And she says, you know what I said about never drinking something you don’t mix yourself. Well, that’s true for everyone, Jeff. He says, I’m really sorry to tell you this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But I dosed you with something. I swiped from my dad, so I may have used too much. So I’m sorry if you feel like shit. He’s trying to laugh it off, like, oh, okay. So you’re crazy. He says, well, why do I have to get tied up first if that’s the game we’re playing, you know? 


Alison Leiby: It’s like, oh, buddy, you don’t know the game we’re playing, do you? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: She says, oh, Jeff, play time’s over. And of course, he starts fighting against his restrains both his hands and his feet are tied. While Hayley’s going through the room, she says, what are you looking? What do you look, fuck are you doing? Hayley says, that’s my question, is why do you live in a house full of photos of half naked underage girls? Jeff? And she starts to scream for help and she reaches up and just starts spraying some kind of chemical fluid in his mouth. And he starts, cuts off, he starts gagging. She’s like, I’ll be honest. You could scream if you want. I picked this day because Mr. Coughlin is at work and the Kraskows are vacationing in Santa Barbara. But I want you to shut the fuck up, because if you scream again, the next time, it’ll be bleach. 


Alison Leiby: Woah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so Jeff realizes, oh, you’ve been stalking me. And she’s like, no, no Jeff. You’ve been stalking me. I’ve gone into all these chat rooms as different girls with different ages. And the second we got a little bit older than me, you drop the conversation. So then I knew. Okay, that’s what’s going on here. As soon as you find out that I’m 14, you want to fucking talk. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like, no, no, we really did connect. We connected in conversation. 


Alison Leiby: Come on, man. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, you know, when I would mention a band, five minutes later, you’d be like, you’d know all about them. Which is kind of the same amount of time it would take to Google it, Jeff. And I know you Google it because you would literally use like the first quotes and like lines about the band from Google. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She says, you know what, Jeff? I fucking hate Goldfrapp. Which would be like, funny that it’s like—


Alison Leiby: It’s very funny. 


Halle Kiefer: —friendly fire against Goldfrapp. And he’s like, okay, so I wanted to impress you. Does that mean being tortured? She says, oh, Jeff, guess you haven’t read anything from International or Amnesty International like you said you did, because this is nothing. And so basically she puts on his blazer and she’s sort of laying out what what we’re saying is like—


[clip of Elliot Page]: I mean, you really got to start to wonder when a grown man goes through all this trouble just to charm a girl. There’s that word again, girl. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s why I want to say I want to read Elliot Page’s book because I was like, oh, yeah. So much of his career was playing a teen girl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Juno, this—


Halle Kiefer: And it’s like as a trans person. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Did I imagine on some level they felt as if, oh, well, I am playing a teen girl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So in fact, I’m actually really good at it. And also, he is an amazing actor. Like it’s a— 


Alison Leiby: —incredible actor. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So watching this, I’m like, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s in the books. So but it made me wonder if he sort of got into like, oh, these were these roles that made his career. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Playing a teen girl, having perhaps felt like he was playing a teen girl while a teen, which is very complicated, but but interesting. And she tells Jeff, you know, I could hear how your voice changed when you looked at me through the camera. And he’s like, my voice changed because you drugged me. She’s like, yeah, and you? It’s because you were looking for the greatest drug of all sweet 14 year old flesh. And he’s like, look, I never touch any of those models. I’m a decent person. I will give you the numbers. You call them yourself. Okay? I don’t. I don’t do that. Besides, you were coming on to me, and Hayley says, oh, my God. That’s what they all say. Jeff says, who says that? And she screams the pedophiles. Alison, I’m going to ask you this, but it’s hard because the person [laughter] who whose perspective you would be answering this from— 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —is a pedophile. Alison, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, if I’m a Hayley, I am. That’s her name? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: The character’s name. I’m. Continuing on with the plan. If I’m him. I mean, I guess like offering up everything you have to just be let go and be like, I will turn myself in for whatever—


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: —I have done. Like, please stop whatever this says. Because, like, an unhinged woman of any age. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Or person of any age who is out for the vengeance of young people, especially young girls. There is no limit to what could happen here. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah—


Alison Leiby: You gotta get out and like let the authorities deal with you.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, well, this person has already come to your house, essentially poisoned you, tied you up, and then has sprayed chemicals in your throat when you were screaming. I don’t think you’re going to be able to get out of this. 


Alison Leiby: Nah. 


Halle Kiefer: Without a full confession to the authorities. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Everything. 


Halle Kiefer: Of everything. 


Alison Leiby: Start. I would start admitting everything and not lying any more. 


Halle Kiefer: But I guess there is like, I don’t know, like there is the part of it that is so hard to understand. It’s like there are these people and mostly men, but there are women too, where it’s like they must. They rationalize their actions. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To such a degree that it’s like, well, if anyone else were if this was someone else, you’d be able to see like, well, this is criminal and grotesque, but because it’s inside your own head, you’re like, yeah, but I’m still allowed to do it. Or like, well, it’s different when I do it or like, but it’s not bad. 


Alison Leiby: But it’s me and I need to. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yeah. Which, which is terrifying. But she starts just screaming at him. And she’s like, oh, you know what they say? She seemed older. She acted like she was older. How was I supposed to know? And also, if you did know, oh, it’s just she wanted it. It’s so easy to blame the kid. And she tells him just because a girl knows how to imitate a woman doesn’t mean that she’s ready to do what a woman does. And she says, I came in here, you knew, I was 14. I made you a fucking screwdriver. In reality, an actual adult would have said, what are you doing? You’re not drinking that at my house. You raced me to the next drink you got to make. It’s like that makes me think you got something else going on here, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he starts screaming like, let me go, let me go. It’s like when I’m ready to go, I’m going to call myself a cab. And then I’m going to call a cab to come untie you, but I’m going to fucking hold court and do whatever the fuck I want in your house until I decide I’m done. So scream, whatever. So then she’s basically like, wheeling around and is going through all this shit because she’s basically looking for evidence that he is a pedophile, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, if you’re as big a pedophile as I think you are, you definitely have something hidden somewhere you don’t want people to see. And he says, look, go in the living room. Look, I have a great cabinet full of my photography stuff. I sold my work for environmental groups. I don’t just shoot models. It’s like, okay, so you’re a voyeur, a pedophile and a conservationist. Okay, so that’s that’s good to know. She goes through and in his nightstand she finds a stack of letters from Janelle, his first love, his first model. She’s like, that is mine. Those are mine. Those are private. She’s like, Jeff, don’t you know nothing’s private. When you have a teenager in your home? Come on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Also, like, you know the rules now. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah—


Alison Leiby: She’s not going to be like, oh, I guess I won’t read these then. Like.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Best case scenario, she’s busy reading those and you’re wriggling out of your restraints, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So she goes, well, she wheels him over to the office, she puts on headphones, is going through the letters, reading them. She’s like, okay, so you’re still in love with this woman? And he’s like, well, you know, honestly, she’s so famous. I thought about selling the letters on eBay, but honestly, I just want to send them back to her and remind her about what of how much of a bitch she was to me, it’s like, oh, boy, again. 


Alison Leiby: Cool guy. 


Halle Kiefer: Jeff, you’re just digging your hole deeper. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, somebody has restrained you within your own home and also it is like it’s never fully clear whether or not Hayley is actually 14. She obviously acts a lot older. And I think that there is some wiggle room of like what details are true about her. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So I think that’s how I had to tell myself, cause I’m like, well, no 14 would do this. But if she simply looks young and is playing younger. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah right. 


Halle Kiefer: So that makes sense to me because like, yeah, those are embarrassing. When you come into someone’s house, every everything is embarrassing. And she reads this is an interesting line Jeff says, she says, a letter from Janelle. Dear Jeff, you have to stop. I can’t go where you want to take me. You’re just not the person I thought you were. Hayley says. Now, Jeff, what kind of person did she find out you were? He says it’s none of your business. She says, well, that makes. Depends on what you mean by business. Because isn’t this your photography business? Is this what you’re doing, you’re just searching for these models? Until you find the next Janelle? You’re just fucking burning for these underage girls? He’s like, no, I didn’t do that. Absolutely not. There’s also some weird tech stuff where they’re talking about technology in a way where it’s like, this is not really how it works. She’s like, are you the kind of person who saves his outgoing emails? I’m like, I don’t even know what that means. 


Alison Leiby: What? Either that always happens or that can’t happen. [laughter] 


Halle Kiefer: I’ve never deleted an outgoing e-mail. 


Alison Leiby: No. Should I be?


Halle Kiefer: Is that something you have to do? Maybe. I guess if you’re sending pedophilic materials—


Alison Leiby: I mean I’m not trying to hide anything, but you know I guess personal information is in there. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s like, you know, it looks like you downloaded photos, but I can’t find them. Where would someone like you keep physical photos? He’s like, I don’t have anything like that. I’ve done nothing wrong. You were totally like, you’re wrong. She’s like, that’s the thing, Jeff. I’d actually look at your whole house and your personal laptop that is only in your home, and there’s no porn whatsoever. Not even the history. You kind of think if you’re a bachelor, you’re home. There’s going to be maybe not magazines. 


Alison Leiby: There’s gonna be some porn. 


Halle Kiefer: Going to be some links, there’s going to be something, you know, something downloaded. That’s a huge fucking red flag, Jeff. Not a hint of porn. And she’s like, you know, I think the photos on your wall are your porn, but you have the real stroke shots hidden away in some cubbyhole that I’m going to find. The phrase stroke shots. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Literally gagging. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Not in a good way. 


Alison Leiby: Not in a good way.


Halle Kiefer: In the, you know, rising gorge where she then starts just fucking pulling everything out of his work cabinets, throwing papers and photos, like looking under his bed. And as all this time, Jeff is trying to undo his ties under his bed, she finds a wooden box, and within the box there’s a gun. So again, now you know there’s a gun at play, right? She starts pulling photos out the wall, like looking in the back of the photos, trying to see like, oh, are they hidden physically there? He has a rock garden, which I’m like, I don’t I guess that was a thing for a time. 


Alison Leiby: There was a minute where that was a thing. 


Halle Kiefer: And so it’s on the floor. It’s a little rock art. And she starts sifting through the rocks. And of course, at the bottom of the rocks is a safe. She asks for the password. He refuses. Like I’m not giving you that. She’s like, you know what? I have all the time in the world, so I’m going to go ahead and figure it out myself. He’s like, there’s no way. That’s not how numbers work. Like, there’s no fucking way you’re going to do that. If you did, it’s going to take you all week. So I guess we’re both going to be here. But he realizes he’s not going to get out of here by yelling at her so now he’s switching tack. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So he’s like well aren’t your parents going to miss you? Aren’t they going to wonder where you’re at? She says, no. She’s like, well, you know, I get it. Being a teen is really hard. I mean, if your parents don’t care about where we are, like, they’re clearly not there for you. So I get it. You look for a guy online, reminds you of your dad, maybe you have a lot of anger towards your dad. Like, so this is coming from someplace like I didn’t know about. But. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m I’m not a bad person. I haven’t done the stuff that you said I’ve done. So I just want to let you know we could just end this. I won’t call anyone. I won’t tell anyone. Right. And you see Hayley’s face fall and she’s like, you don’t know. You don’t fucking know anything about me. He’s like, just untie me and I will not report anything. If you want to call it, you can call 911 yourself. You know, I’ll hold you while you do it. I just want to. I just want you to look at what you’re doing. And Hayley starts to sob, which, of course, turns into hysterical laughter. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I mean. Of course.


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, did you really think that would work? Jeff? Come on. Unfortunately for Jeff, we’ve only seen one series of numbers, and this safe only has three, three numbers. If you’re keeping anything you shouldn’t have in a safe, it’s got to have more than three numbers on it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, because that’s people can—


Halle Kiefer: It’s you can. And the only numbers we’ve seen are on the back of the photo of Janelle. March 19th, 319 is also in his chat room name Lensman319. So it’s obviously 319. 


Alison Leiby: This is how I make my passwords though. So I guess I shouldn’t— [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Girl. As the safe pops open Alison, you’re not going to believe it. There are, of course, we don’t see it anything like it remotely. It is, of course, child abuse images. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And the implication to me is that these are images of the models. Right. So these are 14 year old’s, you know, tweens that he he took photos of Terry Richardson style. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, they could have just been child abuse images that he downloaded, but that’s not what I got from it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I thought these are his photos that he took. He is a piece of shit. He really is like I mean, you’re a piece of shit regardless if your keeping that kind of stuff. 


Alison Leiby: Right. That’s the nth degree—


Halle Kiefer: You’re creating it, you’re creating this yeah. And she says, this is what those they make federal laws for. Jeff, this is fucking sick. And then she takes I wanted to take clothed like a brunette teen girl and she says, what makes her so fucking special? Jeff? Why does she get to keep her clothes on? And Jeff starts silently crying. And then Hayley looks like photo and says, I recognize this girl. And because she’s bending down, Jeff is able to get his foot loose and kicks her on the ribs and Hayley falls back and knocks her head on the ground. Classic way to get knocked unconscious. 


Alison Leiby: I mean.


Halle Kiefer: If you’re in a horror movie, you should be wearing a bike helmet because you will be hitting your head on the ground. You will be knocked unconscious. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And while she’s recovering and Jeff wheels himself in the bedroom, is able to physically throw himself onto the bed where Hayley has left the gun. However, when he gets back to the living room, he’s still tied to the chair but he now has a gun in one of his hands. 


Alison Leiby: Is he zooming around? 


Halle Kiefer: Zooming around on this chair [laughter] tied with a gun? Yes, it’s a living. He screams. Hayley, where are you? Luckily, Alison, she’s right behind him, leaping out of the shadows and wrapping plastic wrap around his face, which we also just saw in Terrifier. A big plastic wrap over the mouth this month. 


Alison Leiby: It’s a scary thing. 


Halle Kiefer: He fires the gun, but, of course, he it just goes into the ceiling. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Eventually, he passes out with a plastic cap over his face. But not before slamming Hayley against the wall, she gets crushed between the office chair and the wall. And so he passed out, and she’s just, like, screaming and freaking out and gagging again. Elliot Page, phenomenal actor. When Jeff wakes up again. Alison, things have gone from bad to worse. 


Alison Leiby: I bet.


Halle Kiefer: He is strapped. He’s wearing his shirt and boxers, and he, but no pants, and he is strapped down to his photography table. Now a surgery table, he has a bag of ice on his crotch. He kind of knows where he’s going. Where this is going. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So Jeff is like, I never touched you. If anything, I was trying to keep you off of me while I call the cops. She’s like, who do you think you’re talking to? And she holds up the photo of the brunette girl brunette girls and says why do you have a photo of local missing girl Donna Mauer in your safe? Have you seen her? 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Because no one else has. He’s like, okay, I met her like I met you. I met her for coffee. I took a photo. You can see it’s in front of that fucking coffee shop. She didn’t come back here. That’s it. And I kept it because, I don’t know. I’m some kind of pervert. It’s like, okay, so did you tell the cops about that, that you met up with her before her disappearance? You might have some fucking information. Or you just saw, like, a teen girl go missing and you said, I’m not going to get involved. 


Alison Leiby: Like, oh, I’ve met her, but I’m not going to say anything. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she Hayley is like, you know, I’ll be honest, I find it hard to believe considering we saw, with the child abuse images in your collection, in your safe, you know what I mean? And he’s like, you’re right. I crossed a line. Yeah, that’s one way to put it. Call the cops. I’ll go to prison. I’ll do time. Just fucking let me go. And it’s like, that’s the thing, is that even when people like you go to trial, oh, he’s sick. It’s an addiction. You’re going to be out in no time. We forgive this kind of thing. He’s like, it would ruin my life. It would ruin my career. And this is 2005 so she goes, I mean, would it? Because didn’t Roman Polanski just win an Oscar? And again, I do feel like we’ve made some progress where this would ruin your career. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I hope I don’t know In case you have any interest, please Google Horses Los Angeles, if you want to. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Read a horrific story. That I hope has some sort of repercussions. 


Alison Leiby: Resolution. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: We’ll see. 


Halle Kiefer: Jeff says why the ice? And she says, well, I realize it wouldn’t help for you to go to prison. How would that help?


[clip of Elliot Page]: Everybody’ll be safer if I do a little preventive maintenance. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. She’s going to castrate him. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: She busts out a razor. 


Alison Leiby: Ah. 


Halle Kiefer: And shaved gel and has a pair of, like, medical scissors. And she’s like. 


Alison Leiby: The textbook. 


Halle Kiefer: The textbook. Exactly. Auditing a class. She puts. She put some sort of numbing gel on it. She’s like, while, that gets to work. I’m going to compose an email to Janelle and she’s writing it and she types it says, you know, Hi, Janelle. I’m 14. I’m talking to your ex-boyfriend, who is, of course, 32. But he talks about you a lot. And I just want to be like, are you guys still seeing each other? I wouldn’t want to step on any toes. I really, really like him. He also talks about this other girl a lot. Donna Mauer, do you know her? Anyways he has these photos on his computer, but I couldn’t open the file, so attach them below. Let me know what you think. Thanks. And she doesn’t send it, though. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: And so in that moment, she doesn’t send it and Jeff switched tacks again. And he’s like, look, you don’t want to do this. Once you hurt someone, you can’t go back. You know, like the things I’ve done, it does like the kind of person I’ve become. It does haunt me, you know? And it’s like if you do something like this, like if you ever go on a date with a guy, if you, you’re gonna think about this in your wedding night. And Hayley’s like—


[clip of Elliot Page]: You know, that is so thoughtful. You were speaking to me so selflessly. I mean, you just don’t want me to castrate you for my own benefit. Wow, I’m touched. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughter] And she’s like, what if you had told yourself when you downloaded this image of a little girl, what if you what if you told yourself? Stop. Don’t do that to yourself. Would you have listened? Would you have listened if you’d said, stop. Don’t do that to yourself? Of course he can’t reply. There’s no reply to that. So once he’s numb, Hayley gears up to castrate him. 


Alison Leiby: Jesus Christ. 


Halle Kiefer: And yeah it’s it’s it’s a tough one and spoils, sprays chemicals in his mouth again when he starts to scream and he says, does your mother know that you cut off men’s balls? And she says, well, I’ll be honest, I haven’t until today, so maybe I’ll tell her when I get home. [laughter] And she starts, you don’t see it of course, but you hear it’s like she starts shaving his scrotum. And Jeff starts to panic and he’s like, there’s money in the safe. I will. I will. Wire you any amount of money? Please, I’m begging you. And he starts screaming and she starts and she’s like, oh, I’m sorry. You’re still not numb yet based on your reaction. So we’re going to give you another minute. You know, for it to take effect. And she leaves him alone. And of course, he’s now putting everything into trying to get off this table. 


Alison Leiby: Getting out. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Meanwhile, some distance away, somebody is in their garden, like pruning roses. And looks up and sees Hayley walking on the roof of the house before going back inside. So somebody has seen her at the house. She walked up to the roof. Meanwhile, Jeff is on this table and sees that his flip phone is on the coffee table and the table is on wheels. So he starts trying to like move the table. He makes a lot of progress. But of course, Hayley gets back is like, I’m so sorry. Can I call someone for you? Do you want to give you, give someone a call? Have them come and watch this with you? He says, why don’t you just fucking kill me at this point? And she wheels him into the studio and sets up his camera to record this. And she’s like, you know what? I really would rather do this. And I know how much you like to watch. So I’m actually going to record this for you. He’s sobbing, obviously, and he tells this very horrible story, essentially to contextualize why he has child abuse images and why he is a pedophile is basically that like when he was nine, he was staying with his aunt and his youngest cousin, Lynnie, like, leapt out of the bathtub soaking wet and like, leapt on him, tickling him and would do this all the time. And I guess we’re suppose to think she’s like four or five. And one day his Aunt Denise comes in, a lot of Denise’s in the film recently. Interestingly. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Denise is a big name this month. 


Halle Kiefer: A month of Denise’s. His aunt comes in. See’s Lynnie on top of Jeff, and she took Jeff to the kitchen, turns on the burner and burns his penis on the burner. Now, I will tell you. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: That would do it. I you know, I’m not a psychologist, but I do think that that absolutely—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —would fuck up somebody’s sexual. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, sexual expression. 


Alison Leiby: Forever. 


Halle Kiefer: Forever, that kind of abuse. And he also doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’s going to therapy for it, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And the next day, his mother came to get him and he never saw his aunt’s family again. So, again, sort of ostracized from that side of the family. And there’s something there where it’s like we don’t know how to talk about, like children’s sexuality. So when things do happen, we only know punishment and fear and disgust. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Rather than have any kind of conversation. So it is like that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m sure that kind of stuff has happened and it is horrible. And but he starts begging her like, please call the cops. You need help. Teen girls don’t do this. And she says, Jeff, I’ve seen the pictures. I let’s not get into what you think teen girls should be getting up to. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, I think that you should be the one to send this email to Janelle. And I think you’d feel a lot better if you knew for sure that she would never love you again. And finally, stop torturing yourself. At this point, Jeff just freaks out. He’s screaming. He’s begging for mercy. It’s horrible. And the implication sort of like if you sent this e-mail, I would let you go. We know by now that’s not what’s going to happen.


Alison Leiby:  That’s not going to happen. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s not gonna happen. But he’s sobbing. And she’s like, you know what? You’re right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have let you think there’s a way out of this. I’m genuinely sorry. She takes out her big, fat medical textbook, opens to the castration chapter. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: And—


Alison Leiby: As one does. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and says, don’t move around too much. If I nick the perineal artery, you could bleed to death. By this point, Jeff is disassociating. He’s just sort of staring at the ceiling. And she starts and she says, can you feel that and he asks, why do you care? Alison, this is fucking. You don’t hear anything. You don’t see anything. You do hear it. You were just hearing, like, flesh, blood, like, wet. You know, like, it’s just the visceral. The visceral, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And as she’s doing it, she’s like so that Aunt Denise story, was that supposed to be, like, the origin, like the key of why you, like, are the way you are. Alison we hear her remove his one of his testicles and sort of like, put it somewhere and then declare she’s moving on to the second one because she’s saying, look, I know a lot of people can be, you know, like live a full life, a full sexual life with one testicle. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So I don’t want to leave the option. I can’t just take one, you know, I got to take them both. And she tells him, you know, this has to be one of the easiest operations. They should teach this in Girl Scouts. You know, like they taught me etiquette. This would have been a lot more handy. And Jeff tells her when she saw Lynnie at her mother’s, her Aunt Denise died and he saw Lynnie at Aunt Denise’s funeral. And she refused to believe Jeff when he told her what her mother has done. And Hayley says, what would you say if Aunt Denise was here? And Jeff just starts laughing hysterically, says, I would say help a teenager is cutting my balls off. [laughter] And I did think that was funny. And after she’s done, she tells them, you’re going to be sore as hell for the next couple of days. So just like I would say, get a lot of rest, take some ibuprofen, in eight to nine days. Take your pick stitches out. And I did some Googling. You can find tips on Eunuch.com just to how to tend to your to your wounds. And she lifts a glass and you can see his testicles in it, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, what should we do with it? And eventually, she suggests, I should I throw it in the yard, but I don’t want an animal to eat it and then get sick. So she dumps them into the garbage disposal. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: And then she. Then she turns it down. And she says to Jeff, do you think Donna is smiling down on us right now? And he says, I swear to God, I didn’t hurt that girl. He says, just so you know, because basically the idea is like she’s going to leave after this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, I will hunt you down for this. She says, you really shouldn’t be making threats while you’re still tied down, because the easiest thing would be would be for me to leave and to kill you and then leave. But she’s not going to do that. She’s already decided she’s not going to kill him. So she excuses herself to take a shower and Jeff manages to get out of his ties and he reaches down to find that she’s just put like a metal binder clip on his testicles. She didn’t castrate him at all. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Which obviously did make me happy. I don’t know. I was just like, okay—


Alison Leiby: Yeah that is just like a tough thing for, like, a young person to do. 


Halle Kiefer: I also think, yeah, but we’ll talk about it at the end, it’s sort of like it is brutality for brutality. I just think like, it doesn’t work. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It just is not, you know, not that we know what to do in any sort of positive way with people who are pedophiles. But I’m like, it just seems like you know what I mean, it’s just sort of like, oh. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The entire concept of like how we treat criminals is horrific. This seems also horrific, but it’s neither here nor there. Jeff has got his testicles and now he’s loose in the house and he grabs a fucking butcher knife and he runs. He grabs so because she was recording, he grabs the tape out. So she he has recorded evidence that she did this and she didn’t do it, but she was psychologically torturing him. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s about to call 911, but he decides nah, I’m just going to fucking kill this bitch. And he grabs, oh, it’s not a butchers knife sorry, he grabs a scalpel she was using and it’s all for show. You know what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like she had all the equipment and cotton balls and stuff and did numb him, but she didn’t actually do anything. So when he runs to the bathroom, she’s not in the shower. She’s just running the shower. Of course, she lunges at him from behind and Hayley tases him and manages to knock him out and essentially knock him into the water and electrocute him. 


Alison Leiby: Ooh. 


Halle Kiefer: And even after he’s unconscious, she just keep teasing him over and over again, screaming. Alison, at this point, who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I think just Hayley. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I think he’s dead. 


Halle Kiefer: What about Janelle? Do you think Janelle’s going to survive?


Alison Leiby: No, I think she’s already dead. I don’t know why, but. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s a good guess. And then also, there is a unexpected cameo from a someone who was a very successful working actress at the time. And now I would say is I would say, if not A-list, in my mind, she’s A-list. But I’m like, I guess I don’t if you don’t watch and watch her shows. She’s a TV star, a woman of a certain age, but not an older woman. Would you like to guess who that actress is? Before we get to that point where she makes a cameo? I can give you more hints if we need. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Give me one more hint. Just like. Comedy? Drama?


Halle Kiefer: I mean, here’s the problem. She really can do it all. Let’s see. She has received two Golden Globes. She has four Screen Actors Guild Awards. God. I mean, she’s truly been in everything. She— 


Alison Leiby: Allison Janney?


Halle Kiefer: Of that level of that level, not Allison Janney but a perfect guess, someone who is Allison Janney esque and in the last couple of years has kind of been blowing up. She had a TV show, a TV show that was really big. And then she’s kind of been in everything. Let’s see, I’m trying to think of a deeper cut. She was in Under the Tuscan Sun. 


Alison Leiby: Diane Lane?


Halle Kiefer: No, but. Excellent. Excellent. Oh, here we go. She was in Sideways. Who was in Sideways Alison? The female lead. I’ve never seen Sideways but I believe she’s the female lead in Sideways. 


Alison Leiby: Sandra Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s Sandra Oh, baby. Sandra Oh is going to pop in. 


Alison Leiby: I love that. 


Halle Kiefer: I could, yeah again, delighted to see her. Even in these—


Alison Leiby: Yes always. 


Halle Kiefer: In these trying times. While Jeff is unconscious again, Hayley goes and proceeds to wipe down the entire house like erasing her evidence that she was there she of course, knocks over a vase and it’s like creates more mess for herself. But she’s cleaning it as as she’s doing it we see Jeff crawling down the hallway. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Scalpel in hand. And when she, he finally gets close enough, she just teases him again until he passes out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And takes the scalpel. She calls her friend Tracy and says, hey, I’m actually done earlier than I thought. Would you want to get a movie later or catch a movie later? And we don’t hear Tracy’s reply. But Hayley says, no, I’m not going to tell you about him. Come on. So it’s like, oh, I’m just out with some guy. But yeah, you know, it’s a normal date. And she starts to write a suicide note and the note essentially to explain why is there a bullet in the ceiling? And it says, I tried to shoot myself. I couldn’t even do that right. So I’m trying to, you know, back end cover everything. She makes a call pretending to be Lieutenant Hayley from the LAPD and asks the person on the line to come to the house. Of course, we know there’s no other person in this movie. It’s Janelle. Now, if I was Janelle, I’d be like, I’m sorry, are they making 14 year old girls Lt’s now? Because, like—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like Elliot Page is a little bit older, but still is obviously a very young person making this call— 


Alison Leiby: Young person. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, okay, if I was Janelle, I’d be like, this is a prank call or something. Now, for the most unrealistic part of the movie, Alison, which is Jeff wakes up and Hayley has gotten him up onto a chair and into a noose. So she has tied a noose, tied his hand, tied his feet. And put a full grown man onto a chair. I just don’t think that that that that they would be able to pull that off. And he wakes he’s obviously, he’s choking. Says you’re insane. And Hayley says, I did tell you that when I first met you, Alison, the doorbell rings. Hayley goes to answer it. It’s Sandra Oh. 


Alison Leiby: I love that. 


Halle Kiefer: Of course she’s not playing herself. She’s playing friendly, nosy neighbor Judy Tokuda. And I just love that it’s like the neighbor Judy. And it’s like a, you go to your neighbor’s house and there’s a clearly underage teenager with a—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —bleeding cut from their, fighting in the shower on their forehead. And and Judy says, is Jeff home? And Hayley quickly is like, oh, yeah, I’m his niece. He has food poisoning so he can’t come out. But I’ll can I help you? And Judy says, can I can I ask you something? And Hayley immediately is like panicking and trying to figure out what to say. And she says, do you, babysit I am always looking for a new babysitter? We’re like, three houses down, girl. If you are ever looking to babysit. [laughter] And Hayley sort of relaxes and it turns out Judy was just stopping by to drop off Girl Scout cookies but before she goes. Unfortunately, Jeff has cash. If I was, that would be where everything fell apart for me is if this is going on, it’s like I don’t have cash. I can’t give you $6. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like I don’t have it. But before Judy turns to go, she says, is your roof okay? Because you were on the roof what were you doing up there. And Hayley say, I was like, oh, there’s there’s a leak. And, you know, my my uncle’s sick, so I couldn’t he couldn’t do it. And Judy says, did it rain? It’s like, no, we live in California. It absolutely did not rain, though that’s not even since 2005t that has changed so much. It’s like, yeah, it rains a fucking lot in L.A. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Or at least this year. And she takes the cookies and Hayley says, thanks, Uncle Jeff loves his Girl Scouts back inside. Jeff says she will be back. She’s onto you. She’s a nosy person. She’s going to think, okay, that girl needs help. Do not like this is all going to fall apart. You’re going to be caught. Hayley says, bup bup bup bup bup. Here are your options. You kill yourself and destroy the photo. And I destroy the photo of Donna Mauer and cover up everything up. And I erase the suicide note or I leave you here to die. And when they find you, they will see that you are a pedophile. And I believe the person who killed Donna Mauer, again, he denies having anything to do with Donna. And he says they’ll find you. It’s like, how how, how would they do that? And she’s like, once they find your shit, also, they’re not going to be interested in who killed you. They’re gonna be like, oh, a pedophile murderer was killed. We’re the police. We’re not going to look into this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, well, she is right. That is what would happen. Unfortunately, during her monologue about this, Hayley gets too close to Jeff, and he’s able to kick his legs up and wrap his thighs around her neck, sort of choking her out. They struggle. He’s able to get out of the noose and she’s able to escape, but then so does he. So then it’s sort of a cat and mouse game around the house. But Jeff, as the predator now, he is hunting her and he this is when he grabs a butcher’s knife and he’s screaming and freaking out and he’s screaming, you’re just like her. You’re all just like her. You’re all the same. Presumably being Janelle, being the woman who left him, you know, abandoned him. And he turns and there’s this beautiful photo of, I think, who we’re supposed to believe is Janelle sitting nude on a bed in front of blinds, and he starts stabbing the photo on the wall, and he calls out. Thank you, Hayley. You are right. This is who I am. This is who I really am. Thank you for teaching me that. And upstairs you can hear her walking on the roof, and we see Hayley up there looking out over the city. Oh, beautiful. Los Angeles. 


Alison Leiby: Gorgeous. 


Halle Kiefer: In the distance. There’s a car coming up the mountain, a lone car with Janelle inside, driving towards them. And Jeff finally finds the ladder up to the roof, and he holds the butcher knife and says, whoa, what do you want to fuck first? Me or the knife? 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Fortunately, Hayley has grabbed the gun and pulls it out and says, I called Janelle. She’s on her way. So you got to tell me how you want to find out. What? What do you want her to know about you based on how they find you? And she points, and she’s put a rope with a noose around the chimney. She tells him again, You could kill yourself, and I’ll hide all the evidence of your crime or your misdeeds. Or when Janelle arrives, I will take off my clothes, I’ll run into her arms, and she will see then the monster that you are. And he says, if you do that, if you run to her, I will kill you myself. I will track you down. He says, you can’t do that. You don’t know anything about me. You won’t be able to find me. My dad doesn’t teach at UCW. I have no. Like everything I lied, my name isn’t it isn’t even Hayley. He says, then who the fuck are you? She says, I am every little girl you ever watched touched kidnaped or killed. That’s all you need to know about me. Alison, Janelle’s car pulls into the driveway. And Hayley says, again, Jeff sort of dives out of the roof to flatten out, says, she says, put on the noose, jump and I’ll hide everything and she won’t know who you really are. She’ll just think you’re some sad man that she never should have left. It’s the only way. Alison. He finally tells her, I didn’t kill Donna Mauer, but I just watched. I wanted to take photos of it, but he wouldn’t let me. It was me and another guy. But he’s the one who killed her. And I’ll tell you his name and I will help you find him. And we could kill him together. And Hayley says, Jeff, I already know his name. And you know what’s funny is when I went to his house, Aaron said you did it before he killed himself. And Jeff starts crying like it wasn’t me. And Hayley said I don’t really care. Meanwhile, poor Janelle’s down in the fucking lawn, calling for Jeff concerned after getting this fucking phone call. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: But finally, Jeff stands and puts on the noose, and it is an excellent shot. Like, it’s like they’re in shadow. And he puts on the noose. And Hayley reassures and says, don’t worry, I will take care of all of it. And with that he just steps off the edge of the roof to his death. And then Hayley looks over the edge and says out loud, or not. And we see here go down the ladder, put on her hoodie, which for the first time I was like, oh, Little Red Riding Hood, I’m an idiot. Like, I was just like, oh, right. Puts up her hood, takes her backpack, and then just sort of limps down the hill away. And that’s the end. Alison. The end. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. Wow.


Halle Kiefer: I feel like I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this movie because I fucking love this shit. I love, you know, like, gnarly revenge, vigilante fantasies. But it does have the same thing of, like, Promising Young Woman where it’s like, well, that didn’t really resolve anything. Like, it’s like, yes, like vengeance. But we know by now that doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean anything. But I—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. But it is fantasy. That is like—


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. Completely.


Alison Leiby: I had some thoughts about Promising Young Woman where it’s like, is this? And there was so much discourse where it’s like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Well, does this fix anything? It’s like, well, this movie wasn’t supposed to fix it. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: Like, this wasn’t what it was for. Like, this isn’t this fantasy of like, being able to hurt the person who hurt someone else, which, like, again, doesn’t really solve things, but is. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: Fun to watch. 


Halle Kiefer: And we have a lot of that within ourselves, like wanting to meet violence with violence or like getting revenge. And that is the fundamental problem is like that’s you can’t really get justice that way because real justice would be changing things to the point where this guy never would have done any of these things. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s why I do. Again, I know I’m truly a bright eyed optimist, but I do think there’s really something when we talk about the patriarchy and talk more broadly about bio essentialism, which is like what trans people are up against is the idea that, like, men are just like this. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think for me, I have reached a point where I’m like, that’s unacceptable. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t believe it. I know too many good men who really are trying to do good things. So then when the patriarchy uses this idea of like, well, this is just how men are, it’s like, but what about all these men that aren’t? And also, if that’s true, then we got to do something about that. Like, it’s like, that’s what you’re saying, which I don’t believe. And I feel like that’s unfortunately what trans people are running up to, is like this idea that everything is like, well, men are just like that. And that’s why I like they’re so crazy about trans women. It’s like trans women are like well, what if I was assigned male at birth? But like, I, I have no, this has nothing to do with me. I don’t have to inherit this, the system that you put me in. But their everything is so reliant on the idea that, like, men do it and then it’s like hard. It’s like, yeah, this, this, this guy exists. 


Alison Leiby: This happens. 


Halle Kiefer: This exact guy I’m sure lives in L.A. right now. So it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: What do you do? How do we how can we change things that this isn’t true? I don’t know the answer to it, obviously, but I don’t know, like, maybe that’s my optimism talking. Where it’s just sort of like, I’ve got to think like, this is so what our understanding of all of this has to change. And that part of it is that this is not inevitable, nor do we have to accept it. I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Does that makes sense. 


Alison Leiby: I agree. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s but again, that’s just because I don’t want to believe that like, we have to—


Alison Leiby: Just that’s just what—


Halle Kiefer: Like I can’t I cannot live that way anymore. Like I refuse any who what are some fatal mistakes you think people have made in the movie Hard Candy?


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I mean, being a pedophile. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, the biggest mistake of all you know.


Alison Leiby: Being a someone who abuses children and murders people, it’s like that is kind of the biggest mistake you can make. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. To rationalize to yourself, oh, I want to do this thing and then sort of like, go from there. And we just did the Vanishing. Where it’s the same thing with like, convincing yourself, like, well, if I want to do something depraved, then I’m. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I can I’m allowed to do it. I’m but I’m not a bad person just because I did some bad stuff, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I think I think it was like BTK was like, oh, so I had seven bad days of my life. Like, I’m not a bad person. It’s like those seven days were days you killed people. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. You you ended other people’s lives on those days. So. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like, yeah, it’s like it’s not a math problem and it’s not the number of days you were bad. 


Alison Leiby: There’s not a magic number. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yeah. Other than that, I mean, I feel like Hayley handled herself as well as possible. She, she came out smelling like roses and. Yeah, that’s why I’m like, at the end of, like, I think she’s 14. I think she’s just styled herself to be 14. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. Yeah. A woman, an adult woman who can present as younger. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: To do this job. 


Halle Kiefer: No yeah. Like doe eyed like, oh you know, ever think this kind of person would like. Other than that. I don’t know. Janelle, listen, she got out of there. She did the right thing it seems like Janelle’s—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —career blew up after that? Yeah. Being a pedophile, I would agree. The ultimate fatal mistake in this film. And finally, where would you put Hard Candy on the spooky scale? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale.


Alison Leiby: Like a five?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, a five feels good. Five feels good. 


Alison Leiby: Feels right. Where it’s like, you know, it’s violent and, like. And, like, stressful. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But. And, like, obviously, the existence of men, like, this is terrifying, but not quite cinematically. And, like, it’s just like. Yeah, see, like, I think that we don’t see the images as like one a relief, and two even scarier in certain ways. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes absolutely.


Alison Leiby: What was there. Yeah. Five. [both speaking] What about you?


Halle Kiefer: I agree. I like five. Again. I think Elliot Page fucking crushes this. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: I think they were incredible in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: Truly a phenomenal actor. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and I get reminded of that watching this. Patrick Wilson was great. I do think this is a movie that, like—


Alison Leiby: Also a phenomenal actor. 


Halle Kiefer: It is. It is a B-minus movie that is elevated by the performance, not B-minus in terms of the writing, I think it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It is sort of like a gorier like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: We’re not going this is not Oscar bait. This is a fucking gnarly, nasty little number. And they’re both excellent in it. Five feels good. Five feels good. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, not a movie for everyone to watch. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: I will say that. Yeah, but. Well, we hope your jaws are on the fucking floor, everybody. And if they’re not. Put them there, okay, please. And until next time. We love you very much. 


Alison Leiby: We love you very much. 


Halle Kiefer: And please keep it spooky. For God sake people. 


Alison Leiby: Just do it. 


Halle Kiefer: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.