Sunday, November 16, 2014

Horns: Movie Review


Original blending of genres wears too thin.
The story of a young man determined to get to the truth behind his girlfriend's murder, Horns adds elements of fantasy, comedy and horror to the mystery. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ig Parrish. Ig was hopelessly in love until the death of girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). And then he was instantly pegged as the prime suspect, thrust into the media spotlight and banished into the hells of reality as an evil-doer. 2013

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

Screenplay by: Keith Bunin
Based on the novel by Joe Hill

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella

When the task of proving his innocence becomes bleaker and more difficult, Ig awakens to a pair of horns sprouting from his head. Already pushed to the edges of society, already regarded as devilish, these horns are only likely to make life even harder for the innocent Ig.

The growing of the horns is exactly when the film becomes delightful with its off-beat and unexpected plot development. Everyone can see the horns on Ig's head, but nobody cares. The horns have the unique property of forcing everybody to speak the truth when talking to Ig. First it provides comedy, and then it allows the audience to start figuring out who is actually guilty and when Ig will finally figure out the truth.

The problem is, once you figure out who's guilty the film becomes rather boring. So far as the mystery plot goes, it's boring. The comedy is really only used at the beginning, and with the humour element gone the film turns into a fantasy.

Photos courtesy of VVS Films.
The fantasy element of the film was good visually – religious symbols abound. Merrin wore a cross and it bears special powers which may or may not be good, Ig's horns bear special powers which may or may not be good, and Ig adopts a pet snake. The snake is the ultimate expression of good and evil and represents the finishing touches on his complete transformation into the devil's apprentice on earth. The connections between hell below and heaven above also added some really gorgeous visual appeal to the film.

But with the arrival of Ig's snake, long after most people have figured out who killed Merrin, the film decided to turn into a horror movie. The mystery element became boring, the comedy was nowhere to be found, the fantasy can only keep you holding on for so long, and we're left with violence. The blending of the genres worked well at the beginning, but the freshness and originality of the tale couldn't keep Horns interesting for the entire run-time of the film.