Movie Review: ‘Horns’


Director: Alexandre Aja

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, James Remar

Plot: Following the murder of his girlfriend, down and out Ig is at the centre of a media storm and under scrutiny as the chief suspect. Things turn weird when he wakes up sporting a pair of horns from his head. Now people keep revealing their darkest thoughts to him, and he sets out to solve his girlfriend’s murder.

Review: I guess when chunks of the Christian population has condemned your signature role as evil and the forefront of a satanic occult movement you might as well wonder around with horns, a pitchfork and control over snakes. Daniel Radcliffe is going to be a tricky actor to cast in any role due to the immense popularity of the Harry Potter franchise but to his credit he doesn’t seem to be using it as the centre of his current career choices. He’s pretty well suited to the role of Ig and for the most part carries it well, even if some of the ‘menacing’ moments just come off as goofy.

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Let’s get down to the movie proper. Why does Ig now have horns and seem to be some kind of modern devil? We don’t know, and the movie doesn’t seem compelled to be trying to say anything remarkable about the state of mankind of religion on the whole. Some reviewers have addressed it as a religious satire, but it doesn’t carry that tone at all. The use of the devil iconography looks more like a visual shorthand than an commentary on faith. A character suddenly being given supernatural powers to bring out the evil in people is the crux of the story. Suddenly everyone he encounters from the tired mother to his own parents are spilling their dark thoughts and, with encouragement, acting on them. For some this becomes a moment to accept the truth about themselves and for others it exposes the real menace to the world.

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Mostly it’s a fun film, a goofy supernatural tale that echoes old fables and episodes of The Twilight Zone. It doesn’t scare enough to be a straight up horror and it’s not funny enough to be a comedy, but it is a macabre little slice of entertainment that can make up part of your Hallowe’en viewing marathon.

Rating: SIX out of TEN