Igg Parrish (Daniel Radcliffe) begins growing horns after his girlfriend is raped and murdered; as the prime suspect, his horns make people confess their deepest darkest secrets to him, which he uses to track down her killer.
Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Horns is an interesting film that unfortunately falls well short of its intriguing premise. Unable to decide if it wants to be a horror film, a drama, a comedy, a coming of age tale, or a detective film, the film sadly fails on all fronts. If it would have chosen one of those genres to focus on, it could have been something special. Instead, it is a ho hum trudge that runs too long with way too little focus. Needless to say, I was disappointed by this film.
Igg and Merrin (Juno Temple) have been sweethearts since childhood. When she is found in the woods raped and murdered, all people believe that Igg is the culprit. He deny’s his involvement, but had been drinking heavily the night she died. Soon, though, he begins growing horns. He soon discovers that the horns have the unique ability to compulse people confess their deepest, darkest secrets. Using this new-found power, he begins searching for his girlfriends killer.
Directed by the usually solid Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors), by straying out of his horror comfort zone he flounders. The coming of age part of the film fails to hold any weight, the dramatic scenes are barely believable, and the film never strays far enough into horror to be redeemed. While the detective parts worked decent enough and there were a few surprisingly funny moments, the film never comes together as a whole. It is unsatisfying, and even more so by seeing a great film in the material. It is just handled poorly with questionable filmmaking decisions. Were these decisions of Aja or purse string holding producers? Who knows.
While the story is intriguing and the effects are worthwhile, the film never heads into the horror territory that you would expect from the cover of the Blu-Ray. It’s hard to think of anything else to say about the film. It is a bland trudge that runs too long. It is intriguing and I continued watching, hoping against hope that it would get better. Trust me when I say it doesn’t. It is not a terrible film and I didn’t hate it. I just found it boring and unfocused.
** out of ****
BIZZAM!! Fun Facts!
- Shia LaBeouf was originally cast as Igg.
- The film had a limited theatrical run in November of 2014.