HORNS

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard


MOVIE REVIEW: HORNS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: ALEXANDRE AJA / SCREENPLAY: KEITH BUNIN / STARRING: DANIEL RADCLIFFE, JUNO TEMPLE, DAVID MORSE, JOE ANDERSON, MAX MINGHELLA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

As a man who made quite the rep for himself with 2003’s Haute Tension/Switchblade Romance, Alexandre Aja is a name that will be familiar with most casual horror fans. Flitting from The Hills Have Eyes to Mirrors to Piranha 3D, he is a director who has dipped his toes into several horror subgenres. But don’t be expecting out and out horror here, for Horns is something truly different.

The central premise focuses on Ig Perrish (Radcliffe) and his mission to prove that he didn’t kill his one true love, Merrin (Temple). With seemingly nobody believing him, Ig wakes after one hazy night to find that he has horns sprouting out of his temples. Even more bizarrely, it soon becomes apparent that said horns cause people to deal with him in a different way; now people lose their inhibitions and tell Ig, for better or for worse, what they really think and feel. Using this ability to unearth some often horrible truths, he sets out to find out who really killed the love of his life.

Horns is a film that is hard to pin down in the most simple of descriptive terms. It has elements of horror, romance, black humour, suspense, heartbreak, whodunit, classic twists, and an underlying brutal edge that flips the film on its head at a moment’s notice. As Ig trundles down the winding road to find out why his world was shattered, the film is constantly engaging, entertaining, heartfelt and soulful. And key to all of this is Daniel Radcliffe.

Yes, the now 25-year-old Radcliffe had a mighty task ahead of him to shake off the tag of a certain young wizard, but the actor does enough here to show that he really is a special performer. Delivering an antihero of sorts, complete with religious satire and undertones, Radcliffe displays a vast array of emotions as his Ig is put through the ringer physically and emotionally. His performance comes across as sincere, heartfelt and multi-layered, much like the film that he is headlining.

With strong supporting turns throughout, particularly David Morse as Merrin’s anguished father, and some truly stunning cinematography work, Horns is a film that is a pleasure to watch. The soundtrack is perfectly suited to the tone of the picture, and the rich, stylish, rough-around-the-edges tone of the film helps to masterfully adapt Joe Hill’s novel of the same name, even if there are some slight story tweaks. Brimming with the same vibe as Brick, John Dies at the End, Odd Thomas or even Dogma, Horns is a magical, twisted ride that shows that Alexandre Aja really is a fantastic talent and that Daniel Radcliffe is a devilishly talented actor who has well and truly left that speccy-wearing wizard in his dust.

Expected Rating: 7 out of 10

Actual Rating:





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