Thursday 6 November 2014

Movie Review - Horns

An adaptation of Joe Hills 2010 fantasy novel, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ig Perrish, an outsider within his local town, who is accused of the rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). His attempts to clear his name continue to fail, until he suddenly wakes up with two horns protruding from his forehead - granting him the power to reveal peoples darkest secrets. Once controlled, he uses these newfound abilities to locate Merrins true killer and unveil the truth once and for all.

Radcliffe continues to demonstrate his flexibility in the acting world - not only is his American accent extremely impressive, but his performance in general is quite easily one of the best of his career. Ig becomes an interesting character thanks to his reckless behaviour that shields a very wounded figure deep down, and Radcliffe conveys this wonderfully, with plenty of gritty charm and wit. It adds up to a performance thats funny, sinister, and extremely emotional. The supporting cast generally perform well, but while the buildup to the climax is tense and involving, a sadly underdeveloped villain lies at the end of it.

The script has been a common point of criticism, and while it isn't terrible by any means, it still needed some fine tuning. Pacing is a concern, as are the jarring tonal shifts - at its core the film is a horror comedy, and it does a good job of providing solid ideas from each genre. However, instead of neatly blending these genres, the script often seems to just jump back and forth between them, which can be awkward. After a strong buildup, the climax is a bit too sluggish at first, but soon becomes a satisfying and thrilling finale to the story. It's far from perfect, but Horns' flaws are still redeemed by Radcliffes excellent performance, an emotional if flawed narrative, stylish visuals, and plenty of classy adult humour.