Short synopsis: Ig’s girlfriend Merrin is found murdered in the woods, and Ig is the prime suspect. He awakens one morning to find that he has sprouted horns, which give him some highly persuasive powers. He uses these powers to find out who killed Merrin.
Notable actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham, David Morse, James Remar, Kathleen Quinlan
I had been looking forward to this movie since I first saw it announced. I already had plans to see it upon its release on Halloween.
Apparently I’m terrible at keeping up with horror news, because Horns hit VOD on October 3. I grabbed it as soon as I got home from work and watched it.
Just like the book, it has a strange tone throughout. It starts out darkly comedic, then slowly loses the comedy as it goes along. After the comedy has been stripped away, you’re made fully aware of just how twisted the events of the movie really are.
The comedy is terrific. It’s odd to say that the guy with the horns works as the straight man, but that’s exactly what happens here. Daniel Radcliffe’s horned Ig Perrish finds that everyone he comes in contact with feels compelled to tell him their darkest desires.
A woman with a bratty child tells Ig that she wants to abandon her family and run away with her golf instructor.
A bar owner says he wants to burn his bar down to collect the insurance money.
And so on. Through it all, it’s the reactions of Ig that sell the comedy. Radcliffe shows off a wide array of faces that feature a mixture of shock, disgust, curiosity, fear, exhaustion and amusement. Ig navigates his way through his town with a set of horns, but it’s the rest of the inhabitants that show their monstrous side. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)
At its heart, this is a love story. The only times we see Ig and Merrin together are through flashbacks. We hear a lot about her from others, and it’s clear that she was well-loved by everyone who knew her. In a particularly beautiful and heartbreaking statement, Derrick Perrish (Ig’s father) proclaims, “She was my favorite thing about you,” to which Ig promptly agrees. The hatred the people in his life have for him is directly proportional to the love they had for Merrin.
It’s a great story, and it’s told really well. It has great characters and a terrific cast. It was also a faithful adaptation of the book. While they changed some things, they were minor and didn’t hurt the overall feel or the story.
Let’s talk about the book for a few seconds. I liked the book, but there were quite a few cheesy/cringe-worthy moments that found me rolling my eyes. A lot of those moments were omitted here, which I appreciated.
I loved this movie, and I love it even more the more I think about it. My expectations were sky-high, and this may have exceeded those expectations. I will definitely be watching this again sooner rather than later.
A few random thoughts:
There was some great music here. The usage of David Bowie’s “Heroes” was absolutely perfect (not that there’s really a bad moment for that song, but still).
The movie looked great, and had some really amazing visual moments.
The actor who played young Eric Hannity (“Meatbag”) reminded me a little bit of Thurman Murman.