Horns: Where Brooding Meets Teen Angst

Horns is a fantasy horror romance film directed by Alexandre Aja, based on the Joe Hill book of the same name. The plot sees Ig (Daniel Radcliffe), have to clear his name after the brutal death of his girlfriend, aiding him in that effect is the fact that he has started to grow horns. These horns allow people to be completely honest with Ig and tell him their darkest thoughts and desires.

Having for once read the book, before viewing, I can honestly say that this film is a pale imitation. In the process of turning a novel into a film obviously a lot of things will be left out, there has to be some degree of translation, but this film misses out keys themes and plot lines from the book whilst also shoe horning in moments to act as a kind of fan service to book readers.

The obvious demonic metaphor is more easily conveyed here, as we can see his transformation. Though said change is interesting initially, it soon becomes a bit repetitive. Ig is surprised that people don’t seem bothered by his horns, this makes sense the first time not the 30th. The final devil design is okay it is a little underwhelming as I was hoping for something grander.

The acting is okay, Radcliffe manages just about to keep an accent for the entirety of the runtime, but he is not as strong an actor here as he is today. For me this film just felt a bit too teen angsty, trying too hard to be edgy, I don’t know maybe I have just outgrown it.

Overall, it is perfectly serviceable, but it does not fully embrace the concept of the book and it feels too broody which becomes cringey the longer the film goes on.

Pros.

A few strong moments

The transformation

Cons.

It beats plot points over the head

It leaves key details out

It feels very teen angsty

2/5

Reviewed by Luke

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