Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Some would say simply, “Like father like son” and think they know something without actually having to know anything. That is what probably makes some judge this one without ever seeing it. That would be a shame as today Feind takes a look at…
There are many reasons to prejudge Horns before you even see it. For starters it’s the first film adaptation of a Joe Hill novel. Joe Hill if you don’t know is the son of horror writing guru Stephen King who began using his mother’s maiden name as his pen name so that he wouldn’t be confused with or accused of riding the coattails of his famous father. I won’t lie and say I’ve read this or any of Joe Hill’s work yet (though I intend to when I have the opportunity) but from friends of mine who have I’m told I should. The second way to prejudge this film is to look at director Alexander Aja who started strong in this Scribblers opinion then made some mediocre films before making last year’s excellent re-make of Maniac with Elijah Wood. Seriously, if you haven’t seen that one check it out plus you may see Aja pop up on my Halloween Marathon suggestions next week. And lastly, you may prejudge this one based on its star Daniel Radcliffe best known to anyone who’s been alive in the last 10 years as the infamous Harry Potter in the adaptions of JK Rowlings works. So were any or all the prejudgments correct or should you pull your head out of your precocious ass and enjoy? Let’s find out…
So first up let’s address the elephant in the room, main character Ig or Iggie played by Daniel Radcliffe. I can’t speak for anyone else who’s seen this but all I can say is my reaction seeing Radcliffe on screen for the first time was simply, “Hey, Harry Potter” and then it was gone. I’m sure the five o’clock shadow sported by the actor throughout the film helped but Horns and the character Radcliffe plays are a pretty far cry from each other and his performance is pretty damn good. I wouldn’t call it a great performance or anything but if all you’re thinking is “Harry Potter” then the problem lies in you because he does an excellent job throughout. So what is Horns all about? Here goes and I’ll try to keep this fairly spoiler free so as to stop pissing people off.
Horns begins with Iggie (Radcliffe) promising his girlfriend Merin (Juno Temple) that he will love her for the rest of his life. So since this is a “horror” movie you know right there that something is going to go horribly, tragically wrong. Then we cut to, with a very nice Aja upside down shot, to Radcliffe obviously at some point in the future waking up on the floor after an obvious night of heavy drinking. Both he and his humble abode are a bit slovenly showing that apparently he is no longer loving that girlfriend anymore, so much for forever. We don’t know how much time has passed or what happened but Iggie is alone, drinking heavily and doesn’t appear to be taking very good care of himself. A quick glance out the window shows a group of reporters out front, Iggie slips on some nice loud music, personally I think he should have gone with death metal here but hey, that’s just me. Shortly after he exits his home we find out from shouted questions and accusations that the girl he was supposed to love forever is not only dead but Iggie is accused of doing it.
Another interesting note about Horns is that it was available the same day as Joe Hill’s famous father’s latest film adaptation for A Good Marriage (read Feind’s review) due to both films being available as free downloads on iTunes (Go HERE) though Horns opens in theaters nationwide on Halloween. The two films are really very different and personally I think it’s very cool for the joined father/son promo and competition. I haven’t seen enough of Joe Hill’s work to say with any authority but he does seem to have his own voice and style which is difficult to do with the rather large shadow of his father hanging over him. But I should just get back to the film here.
Again to keep this fairly spoiler free I’ll try not to tell you too much that you can’t discern from the trailer for the film. Iggie stands accused of killing his girlfriend but why? Through some flashbacks we see the pair has been together since childhood getting up to mischief together with a small group of friends (now there’s a similarity to his father’s work). Then for reasons he doesn’t know Merrin breaks up with him suddenly saying she is moving away just as Iggie is about to give her a ring and propose. The next day Merrin is found dead leaving Iggie as the prime suspect, of course. Also of course, he didn’t do it though no one seems to believe him especially his own father with the one exception being his best friend Lee (Max Minghella). Admittedly even Lee seems to have his doubts but he’s grown up to be an attorney and is attempting to help his friend. But why can't Lee see the Horns? So you’re probably saying but Feind where are the Horns damn it?
So what would you do if one morning you woke up with Horns sprouting out of your head especially if you haven’t been bitten by a genetically altered Ram? You’re welcome for the nerdy Spiderman reference btw. Well freak out would probably be a normal reaction but then what if you noticed those horns weren’t just gigantic eyesores making you a fine specimen for a freakshow but also when anyone was around you they seemed compelled to confess their deepest darkest secrets. Seems the perfect tool to find your dead girlfriend’s real killer and whadaya know it is! Along the way Iggie learns much he wished he hadn’t. What do you think your parents would confess to you? Your siblings? Friends? Yeah, some things are better left unsaid for a reason. Though some humor is thrown in by some of the confessions such as the local sheriff patrol's ummm… “fraternal love?”
You may guess where some of this is going as some of it is a little predictable but that really doesn’t stop it from being a fun ride along the way. While you will recognize some King elements like the group of childhood friends Joe Hill isn’t telling a story here that is similar to his father’s work in any tangible way. He does seem to thoroughly have his own voice. After the initial “Hey that’s Harry Potter.” I never really thought about it again so that didn’t detract from the experience. Then finally after Aja won my heart with his early work then lost me for a bit (I’m looking at you Piranha!) has thoroughly won me back with last year’s excellent Maniac redo and now with an above average film in Horns. Is Horns the greatest thing since sliced bread? No, it’s not but it was interesting and fun to watch all the way through.
Obviously I enjoyed this one so it passed The Scribbler Clock Test (damn we need to trademark that!) but going head to head with his father’s A Good Marriage which was better? Honestly, I’d have to view both a few more times to say definitively but for me it’s honestly about a tie with a very slight edge going to daddy’s film mainly because the story itself was more up my alley. On a 1 – 10 scale I’d say both come in at a respectable 6.5-7’s which is too say, not too fuckin shabby. If you skipped ahead (and shame on you) you already know, Horns was…
Have you seen Horns yet Scribbler Fans? It hits theaters on Halloween but again is available as a free download on iTunes if you have it.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Scribbler Movie Reviews
Feind loves watching movies of all kinds so if we watch it, we tell whether you should as well. I'll share mostly horror but I also enjoy everything from big Blockbusters to micro-budget Independent films.
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