Review: Horns

This is probably the first and last time you will ever see me post a film review. I don’t usually have the time to watch a movie, but I was browsing through Netflix the other night and came across Horns. The cover and description looked interesting so I gave it a go.

Blamed for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, a man wakes up one day to discover he’s grown horns. Along with the horns, he gains some pretty impressive, if not disturbing powers that make people tell him exactly what they’re thinking. The people the man with the horns comes into contact with tell him the truth and later, don’t remember any of it.

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) stars as Ig Perrish, the man accused of killing his girlfriend, Merrin, played by Juno Temple.  Max Minghella plays Ig’s best friend and attorney, Lee Tourneau and Joe Anderson plays his drug-addicted, musician brother, Terry.

Now, before I tell you what I thought of Horns, let me say that apparently I have been living under a rock because I had no idea this was a book until after I watched the film. That said, I went into it with no preconceived notions and chose it based only on the description.

Now that we have that embarrassing fact out of the way…

Radcliffe’s performance is surprisingly refreshing, and about as far away from Harry Potter as you can get. He does a brilliant American accent and his emotions feel authentic throughout most of the film. Imagine how you would react if you started turning into the Devil and people began telling you brutal truths they usually keep to themselves. Yeah, that’s how he reacted too.  Radcliffe played this role with a down-to-earth honesty that I appreciated and enjoyed.

Juno Temple almost seemed bored and apathetic throughout most of the movie and her acting in this film was just – lackluster, for lack of a better word. She also does a great job of hiding her English accent, but that is where her performance ceased to impress.

Throughout the film, everyone who encounters Ig tells him their innermost thoughts, except for one person, Ig’s best friend, Lee. Lee doesn’t see the horns and it isn’t until the end of the movie that we find out why.  I think Max Minghella plays the part well. Not great, but well enough.

The effects in Horns were not great, but they were believable enough.  There is a lot of biblical and religious symbolism throughout the movie, but it never got ‘preachy’ and I never felt like the director was trying to cram beliefs down my throat.

At first, this movie was entertaining and amusing. It held my interest all the way through – thanks to Radcliffe’s performance – but it kind of became silly after a while. There is such a thing as taking a good idea too far and Horns is especially guilty of doing just that. As Ig completes his transformation to the Devil, he finally gets the answers he’s looking for and to me, that was worth sticking it out to the end. I think, cut down by 30 minutes or so, this might have been a good film. As it stands, I’m glad I watched it, but I won’t be watching again anytime soon.

I’d be interested in hearing how the book differed from the movie from anyone who has read the book and let me know if it’s worth a read.

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