Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, Max Minghella, Kelli Garner, James Remar
We’re still in that time of year where Hollywood releases its spate of horror films, one of which (and I use the term ‘horror’ very loosely, here) is Alexandre Aja’s adaptation of Joe Hill’s book Horns, starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Horns follows the tragic tale of Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) who is believed to have killed his girlfriend, Merrin Williams (Juno Temple). The people, the media, and even his own family all think him guilty. One day however, he finds himself sprouting painful looking horns from his temples, which give him an unusual power: people begin to act strangely around him and start divulging their deepest, most depraved secrets. Ig soon decides to embrace these newfound powers in order to find the real killer.
Unfortunately, despite the interesting premise, Horns feels more like a blunt edge. It has been billed by most people involved as a horror flick, yet there are no real horror elements in the film, apart from a smattering of snakes and the horns themselves.
You killed that poor girl, and now the devil has claimed you
It almost seems as if director Alexandre Aja wasn’t sure what the tone of the film should be. Should it be horror? Should it be comedy? Or should it be a simple whodunnit? It ends up being an ugly mishmash of everything, which results in a very dull affair.
Having said this, it’s not all bad. The visuals are impressive and Radcliffe gives a decent central performance; his accent is convincing. He is slowing freeing himself from the shackles of the Harry Potter franchise and has been making some interesting movies ever since. Joe Anderson is also very watchable as Ig’s druggy musician brother.
Other actors don’t perform as well. Max Minghella is poorly cast and Juno Temple isn’t given nearly enough to do. Her character ends up being annoying, despite the fact that she’s the one who gets her head bashed in.
It’s a shame that Horns ends up being so average, because the source material is quite good and should have resulted in a much more promising picture.