Horns Review – Problems on Paper

It’s difficult for some actors to move on after portraying an iconic character for an extended period of time. Emma Watson has found more success beyond Harry Potter than she had as Hermoine Granger. The jury is still out for Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe, though it’s certainly not for lack of trying. His second attempt to move on was a descent effort, with Radcliffe giving a worthy performance. Too bad the movie was screwed from page one.

Radcliffe and Temple

Radcliffe and Temple

In a vein attempt to not plagiarize every summary for Horns, Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend in public opinion. After a night of drinking he awakens with horns growing from this forehead. Right there is the problem with the movie. It’s never explained why he has the horns. Everything that follows makes sense in a biblical way, but the leap to get there was jarring. As Ig’s day continues, he starts to learn his horns come with powers. The first shows everyone he encounters confessing their darkest sins, forgetting the horns exist or even encountering Ig. The other is suggestion, with him able to coax others into freeing their inhibitions and doing as they please. The use of his powers was the best part of the film, with nearly all these scenes given away in the trailer. Still, seeing them play out was enjoyable.

Torneau and Radcliffe

Torneau and Radcliffe

This had many logic problems, with all of them stemming from the script. Another revision or two was certainly needed. The movie is based on a novel by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King. I use the term based in the strictest sense of the word. Much of the story was changed from the book, save only the premise. These changes caused most of the problems with the final product. It wasn’t clear that his girlfriend was murdered and raped until seeing the act play out in flashback. Why was everyone, including his family, so quick to condemn Ig? Why did he get the horns?


There was plenty of heavy handed biblical metaphors as the story played out. As the horns grew, snakes started to follow Ig, obeying his command. At least he didn’t speak parseltongue. The pitchfork and red skin was a bit much. At least he didn’t have cloven feet. His final form however, was over the top and didn’t logically follow.


Surprisingly, the performances were sound. Radcliffe’s love for his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple), felt genuine. Joe Anderson, though pointless, was fine as his brother, doing his typical musician/drug shtick. Heather Graham was a surprising addition for her few scenes. Surprising in so far as, ‘what is she doing her?’ The rest of the cast was fine, doing the best the could with the material. Lee Tourneau (Max Minghella), though fine initially, completely fell apart in the third act. His actions were borderline comical.

This isn’t terrible. When it’s eventually streaming, give it a view if the trailers seem enticing. Absolutely do not see this in theaters. It is a complete waste of money.

Enjoy the book better? Think Radcliffe is successfully getting away from Potter? Comment below!

Really, where did the horns come from?

One response to “Horns Review – Problems on Paper

  1. Pingback: Around the Web – 10/26/14 | The Credible Hulk·

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