Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham
Release Date: October 31, 2014
When I think of successful horror directors from the 21st century, only a few names automatically come to mind: James Wan, Rob Zombie, and Eli Roth. That is an incredibly small amount compared to the number of horror films that come out in a year. But there's one director that has gone undetected and after watching Horns, that will no longer be the case for Alexandre Aja.
Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Horns is a supernatural thriller driven by fantasy, mystery and romance. The film follows Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe), the number one suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses - an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend's tragedy and for exacting revenge on her killer.
It's hard for any actor to leave the shadows of a character that made him a household name. Robert Downey Jr. will always be Tony Stark, Hugh Jackman will always be Wolverine and Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter. The difference? Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Jackman love being known for those roles. Seeing how Radcliffe will be starring in three films in the Toronto International Film Festival including Horns
, it's clear that Radcliffe is ready to be known for more than just Harry Potter and with his work in Horns
, he's taking steps in the right direction. Radcliffe was on the top of his game as Ig and this was his best performance by far since putting down his wand. Radcliffe was not the only one to put up a solid performance in the film. When Ig confronts his parents with his new set of horns, Derrick (James Remar
) and Lydia Perrish (Kathleen Quinlan
) bring some high emotion and seriousness that the film truly needed. Juno Temple, as Merrin, was very minor but shaky as it was hard to understand why everybody loved her. Her grieving father on the other hand, Dale Williams (David Morse
), was brilliant.
It's hard to classify Horns
as one specific genre. The love story between Ig and Merrin had scenes that were filled with emotion and heartbreak that you would want your favorite romance film to contain. But as soon as Ig grows his horns and people start spilling their sins and evil desires to Ig, the film will have you laughing. But that laughter will quickly disappear as the film becomes dark by the third act.
does not have the gore that we are used to seeing from Alexandre Aja, but by the time the third act arrives the film turns into a full out horror film when Ig travels with a gang of serpents. But Horns
for the most part is a blood-free affair which leads to some disappointment, especially if you are familiar with Aja's earlier works. That doesn't mean that the visuals disappoint, you just wish there were more. But with what Aja did with this script, that is a win in my books.
The biggest disappointment of the film is determined by whether or not you've read the book. This is not the best adaptation of a book in recent memory. There are a lot of story arcs from the book that did not make the film and if it did it would have made certain scenes better. For example, the final battle scene between Ig and Merrin's killer. The final showdown plays out a lot differently in the book compared to the film which made it short lived and rushed. Does not mean the film doesn't do the source material any justice, it just could have been done better.
is currently available on VOD but will still hit theaters on Halloween. The film is not worth your money when it comes to seeing it in theaters but you will have fun with it while you watch it On Demand.
Labels: 2014, Alexandre Aja, Daniel Radcliffe, Heather Graham, horns, Juno Temple, Movie Review, On Demand