In this fantastical cinematic adaptation of Joe Hill’s popular novel Horns, Daniel Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, who unwittingly finds himself to be the prime suspect in his girlfriend Merrin’s (Juno Temple) mysterious death. With the press and incensed public hounding at his door, his plea for innocence is not helped when he grows horns from his temples. However the unexplainable sprouting of horns ends up working in his favour – as anybody in Ig’s presence begin to sub-consciously reveal their own inner demons, displaying a darker, more deranged side to their demeanour – and so Ig attempts to take advantage of the situation and piece together exactly what happened to his deceased girlfriend.
Despite the potential in this surreal murder mystery, director Alexandre Aja revels frustratingly in the more frivolous side of the tale, becoming unfortunately comparable to pictures such as The Invention of Lying. There’s too evident an attempt to gain cult status with this offering as well, which is to the film’s detriment. While the filmmakers persistent deviation from the more intimate, emotional aspects, is frustrating at times – as that’s where the piece truly comes into it’s element. In the meantime, it helps that we are implicitly aware of Ig’s innocence, allowing to form a bond with the character and root for his cause, with Radcliffe successfully enhancing that notion; such is his personable nature, and the conviction in this impressive performance.
In spite of the shortcomings that exist, Aja must be commended nonetheless, as he’s created a film that is unable to be pigeonholed by seamlessly blending a variety of genres together. However, while the darkly surreal narrative can make this movie feel like an elongated episode of Twin Peaks, regrettably the execution does not quite match the creative and unique premise.