If not, then I think you should. Horns is a fun little horror comedy directed by Alexandre Aja starring England’s own grown up wizard Daniel Radcliffe. I didn’t really know what to expect when going into this one, but actually left the theatre pleasantly surprised. While this movie wont be winning any oscars, if you haven’t gotten your Dia De Los Muertos fix yet then I think you should give Horns a shot. As it’s much better than your other option. Here, let me tell you why…
Yay, awkward segues! So, Horns is about a guy named Ig (Who I will from this point on call Iggy), the love of his life has been murdered and he’s the only suspect. As much as he asserts his innocence he feels responsible, and the community finds every chance they can to call him a monster, evil, or even a devil. It’s enough to give anyone a complex, and what do you know, one day he wakes up to find that he’s growing horns. His new found appendages also come with the effect of drawing out the dark hidden side of everyone he comes into contact with. People start doing and saying things they normally wouldn’t and are easily coerced into embracing their instincts. Basically he’s a devil, and what fun it is when Iggy embraces his new powers and decides to use them to find his lover’s actual killer.
From here the plot follows the usual who-done-it arc, but with the madcap addition of our gumshoe being a fledgling demon. But, refreshingly, where so many modern movies get bogged down in over-exposition and rigid adherence to the plot, Horns takes time to relish in the characters and the setup. Much of the movie is Iggy (And let’s be real, the audience) enjoying his powers as he “punishes” those who stand in his way. At no point does a character sit down and monologue about the technobabbly psuedoscience of what is actually happening to Iggy, or awkwardly explain much of anything, and good God does it feel good to not be spoon fed every goddamn thing. Though I will say that Iggy’s voice overs were completely unnecessary and were the closest step the movie took towards the sin over blatant over exposition.
Other than a few things that didn’t make sense, and being able to peg the killer almost immediately* Horns is pretty goddamn competent and a whole lot of fun. Other than a few lines that fall flat (Re: the voice overs), the acting is actually quite good for the material, and I especially liked the scenes with the victim’s mourning father. There are also some great practical effects to be found throughout the film, and Radcliffe’s progressively changing makeup was a treat to see, and a lot of it felt like a throwback to classic horror films, where atmosphere and prosthetics were king.
So if you can’t tell by now, I quite liked Horns, I could say some sort of lame qualifier like “It’s not perfect but…” but I think that’s a disservice. This is a fun little movie, and in a lot of ways it’s a breath of fresh air in the stale lameness I’ve been experiencing in so many films recently. This movie has energy and charm and is well, if a bit awkwardly, paced, and it has Harry Potter growing horns and saying “goddamn” a lot. What else would you want in a movie? I say give it a look.
*Although both my girlfriend and I admitted to temporarily thinking it was someone else … only to immediately go back to knowing exactly who it was. Still, that’s definitely something.