Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner, Heather Graham, Kathleen Quinlan, David Morse
Directed By: Alexandre Aja
Written By: Keith Bunin
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr
So you wake up one morning, and find horns growing out of your forehead! Later, you find everyone around you being unusually and sometimes brutally honest with you. You also discover you have some influence over people, and can even read their minds by touching them. So you decide to make use of your new powers and track down your girlfriend’s killer, plus clear your name. Sounds like an awesome premise for a movie right? Well it was, when this film actually bothered to explored it.
Just as the story starts to lighten up and have some fun, with friends, family and even random strangers blurting out every honest feeling they have. We cut away to a flashback, and then another, and another, and all the film’s great momentum is lost. I got that these flashbacks were there to set up our character’s back stories, but I honestly didn’t care for the tonal shifts that came with them. One minute a parent is being hilariously honest about what she’d like to do to her out of control screaming child (and believe me, you’d be on her side), the next we flashback to be told yet again, how much the couple, Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) and Merrin (Juno Temple) loved each other. I got it, can we move on now and get back to the fun stuff please?
It seems Horns was trying to be a fun supernatural thriller, and a romance movie. Deliver a murder mystery plot of the quality you’d find in a Scooby-Doo cartoon, along with a dark serious revenge story. Daniel Radcliffe does an okay job hiding his British accent, but did he have to be in a permanent state of righteous rage? I got so tired of his character’s constant freakouts and overblown melodramatics. Come on man, you’ve got horns growing out of your head, you can read minds, everyone is telling you their secrets, and you can guide people’s actions! Chill, and start have fun with it!
Horns for me, will end up on my mental list of movies that deserve a remake. A film that had great potential, but sadly doesn’t deliver. I think if Horns had kept its focus on the stories central premise, and explored the inherent humor in this supernatural tale, it would have been a lot more entertaining.
Horns is a weird tonal mix that doesn’t work in my opinion, so it’s hard to tell you what to expect. The trailers I saw sold this as a supernatural comedy, but that’s unfortunately only a small part of this picture. Horns earns its R rating due to sexual content, some graphic nudity, disturbing violence including a sexual assault, language and drug use.
This is a decently shot film, and a matinée screening is your best bet. At home a HD viewing on your TV is recommended. Watching this on anything portable isn’t advised.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
Heather Graham was great as the small town diner waitress, Veronica. Her confession about lying to the police to get her face on TV was my favorite. Just bubbling with genuine excitement about the prospect of a TV career, while totally selling Ig out to the authorities.