November 13, 2014
The film choices of Daniel Radcliffe after Harry Potter are always a curiosity. Maybe tired of the media circus around Harry, he seems to be more drawn into these small non-mainstream type films. The last one I watched was "Woman in Black" which is quite a good atmospheric horror film. And now comes this weird one called "Horns."
Ig Perrish and Merrin Williams were a perfect young couple in love, sweethearts since childhood. One day, Merrin was found dead in the forest, and Ig becomes the prime suspect. As the whole town, including his family and friends, turns on Ig, he began to notice horns growing out of this temples. People around him lose all self-control and become totally id driven and brutally honest. But despite these disturbing occurrences, Ig remained determined to get to the bottom of Merrin's brutal murder.
Daniel Radcliffe's multi-faceted performance is probably the only thing that keeps this over-the-top movie together. The rest of the cast, even Juno Temple as Merrin, did not really do anything memorable with their roles. Everyone seemed to be playing it too high-strung or too low-key, maybe that was the director's intention to keep the proceedings interesting. The eventual antagonist was particularly weak, with their final "battle" not too impressive despite the special effects, not exactly Grand Guignol.
"Horns" is one of those films you cannot categorize. It has elements of love story, crime drama, satanic horror and dark comedy. Director Alexandre Aja uses a lot of flashbacks to tell stories about the Ig's childhood with his gang and his relationship with Merrin. When the horns grow out of Ig's head, the film takes on a totally bizarre character that defies definition. The strangeness escalates further when flames, snakes, and even a pitchfork gets into the scene. It had an interesting first half, but unfortunately the second half becomes downright absurd. 5/10.