Synopsis – In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his forehead – Horns
Director – Alexandre Aja
Starring – Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Heather Graham
Genre – Crime, Horror, Fantasy
Released – 2013
For fans of – Writscutters, Colossal, The Shape of Water
Attempting to get away from the Harry Potter role that made him famous, Radcliffe has partaken in some rather brave projects starting with The Woman in Black and Kill Your Darlings before taking on the starring role in one of the more unique murder mysteries you’re likely to see anytime soon. Horns.
For all the movie’s absurdities, Horns benefits from high production values and strong acting across the board but also an interesting story adapted by Joe Hills’ 2010 dark fantasy, with Director Alexandre Aja and screenwriter Keith Bunin combing well to keep most of the religious and social overtones that made the book such an enjoyable read.
Credit should also go to Radcliffe for keeping the character of Ignatius sympathetic, even after he starts to physically change more and more into a demon. This is a testament to his acting ability, one I must admit I’ve never been completely sold on until watching this and the equally strange Swiss Army Man. Juno Temple also does well as the ill-fated girlfriend, while the rest of the performances were generally good as well, with no one standing out as particularly bad. I should also mention how impressed I was with the movie’s practical effects, especially the more gory moments. all of which help turn this world into somewhere that skates the line between reality and fantasy.
Sadly, however, I can’t say this movie wasn’t without its issues, the most frustrating of which was the movie’s inconsistent tone. Unable to decide if it wishes to be serious or funny, landing somewhere in the middle, not scary enough to be a horror and not funny enough to be a comedy. The ending also isn’t without issue, feeling a little too protracted in an effort to make the big reveal more shocking, which the story didn’t necessarily call for, especially as the movie made it pretty clear who was to blame before this point.
Overall, Horns is a very watchable horror-fantasy-mystery combination hemmed by good performances from the entire cast and an interesting yet slightly predictable story. Fans of Daniel Radcliffe, dark fantasy and the book will likely find this enjoyable, while others feeling find this a little too pedestrian compared to some of Aja’s previous works and 10/15 minutes too long.
Charity – Midlands Air Ambulance