Directed by Alexandre Aja, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe in yet another non-Harry Potter movie. Adapted from Joe Hill’s novel of the same name, Horns tells the story of Ig Perish, grief stricken and blamed for his girlfriend’s death, he wakes up one day to find two horn like protrusions growing on his head which gives him the power to extort the deepest and darkest secrets of the people he comes in contact with.
Having read the book, its interesting to see how its visualized. I didnt have any ‘faces’ when I was reading the book and just like Harry Potter the book’s characters came to life while watching the movie. Daniel as Ig, at least visually, fit the profile and his initial struggles to understand what exactly was going on was well done. I liked the fact that the first half introduces you to the characters whom you’d be seeing till end and each and everyone of them in the town had something off and intriguing about them. It has this immense dark tone that clambers to come out, but shies away.
I was a bit skeptic when I heard Alexandre Aja, who directed Piranha 3D and The Hills Have Eyes, was helming Horns and my worries came true as well. The movie has huge tonal shifts and it somewhat took the charm away from the book. Sprinkled with equal bits of dark humour, romance and mystery the movie does work but the odd choices of injecting the same here and there was a bit baffling. Joe Hill’s book on one hand focussed on being horror-first, the movie on the other invested unnecessarily in mushy romance and end result being way too schmaltzy.
Its been almost 3 years since the last Harry Potter movie and Daniel Radcliffe is still hellbent on shaking off his ‘The boy who lived’ image. He definitely shows promise but just like his Harry Potter portrayal it was a little rough around the edges. Harry Potter came to life coz its character had a persona that was fleshed out through 7 books, though Ig’s adequately well written character from the book couldn’t be found in the movie. The supporting characters were just intolerable, Juno Temple and Mike Mignella especially did get on my nerves at times.
Horns did have some good stuff, especially the mystery element and along with some fun touches here and there and those definitely stood out, especially the scene where Ig makes some journalists fight among themselves for an interview with him and another with him walking outta a burning pub with Marilyn Manson’s ‘Personal Jesus’ playing in the background. But those good sequences were few and far between. If I had to put the quibbles down, there’d be a ton and frankly its unfortunate that such a good source material with so much potential was wasted here. It was completely twisted and bit of gonzo fun but there are better movies to watch this Halloween!