It’s been over three years since the last Harry Potter film hit theaters. Three years since we last saw our beloved Hogwarts heroes say their farewells. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have long moved on from those roles, and yet it still seems hard for movie goers to see them as anyone else. I even included myself into that group. At least I did include myself in that group. Now, I’m starting to see them for the actors and not their characters. Well, Not all of them. While it was much easier to see Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as them and not Ron and Hermione, It wasn’t as easy with Daniel Radcliffe.
After watching his films The Woman in Black and Kill Your Darlings it started to fade, but I still saw him as Harry Potter. Even with his show A Young Doctor’s Notebook with Jon Hamm I couldn’t shake Potter away from Radcliffe. I mean, He is the main character. He is Harry Potter. He would be the hardest of the three to see as anyone else. However, after watching Radcliffe’s latest film, Horns, I’ll never see him the same again. And I mean that in a good way. Horns is a dark fantasy film from director Alexandre Aja, and is based on the novel of the same name by author Joe Hill. The story follows Ig Perish, played by Radcliffe, a young man whom everyone in his hometown believes is a murderer.
One year ago, Ig’s long time girlfriend Merrin was found dead in the forest. Word spread, along with a few lies, and the town quickly believed Ig was the man who did it. One morning, after a drunken tirade the previous night, Ig woke up with an unusual new…addition. He found two horns growing out of his forehead. Not only that, but people began acting differently around him. Spilling deep secrets and showing their darkest and most twisted sides of themselves. At first, Ig is freaked out and completely upset by this curse he now possesses. Eventually, he sees this curse as a blessing in disguise, and uses it as a way to find out who really killed the love of his life.
Now, I’m a big Joe Hill fan. I haven’t read much of his novel work, but I love his comics. Specifically Locke and Key, which is such a great series! So, when I heard his book Horns was getting adapted, I was ecstatic! I love the story so much. It’s kind of like Paradise Lost with a modern twist and vibe. To see that story play out on film, with Daniel Radcliffe as Ig, left me truly excited. I was even more ecstatic when I saw the film was for sale digitally on the Playstation store! Long before it’s intended theatrical release date! I mean, who wouldn’t be excited to see a movie way before it’s supposed to come out?
I bought the HD copy, watched it a few times, and I’m happy to say I really ended up enjoying this film. First and foremost, Daniel Radcliffe is pitch perfect. No joke, this is the best performance I’ve ever seen from him! And it’s a very different performance than anything he’s done before. He’s dark, he’s grungy, he’s hysterical, he’s raw, and I love every second of it! I could honestly say if anyone else was in the role, I probably wouldn’t have liked the film as much as I did. Radcliffe made this movie, and it shows. The other performances are pretty good, and the chemistry between everyone works great. Especially between Radcliffe and Juno Temple whom played Merrin. I’ve enjoyed her in pretty much every movie I’ve seen her in, and this is just another example of her great skills.
I honestly can’t really think of anyone that I didn’t like. I mean I think Heather Graham, in the 5 minutes shes in the movie, kind of hams it up, but It works with what’s happening to her character. Visually, the film is beautiful. Aja really plays up the fantasy style for the look of the film. Especially during the scenes in the forest. You feel like you’ve entered a different world, just as the characters did. Great approach, for sure. One thing I found iffy and a bit jarring was the tone. It’s kind of all over the place. One minute the film is a truly hysterical black comedy, and the next it’s an emotional drama. Some points, the humor and the drama really work, but there were times it just wasn’t right. Like it felt off to do something funny at this moment or sad at this moment, you know? That happened a few times.
It really is hard to tell what tone the film wanted, but that really didn’t keep me from enjoying the story and the characters. So I can easily forgive the films tonal confusion. That being said, the one thing I can’t forgive is the predictable outcome. From the beginning, I knew who the real killer was. Seeing as how the story was sort of a whodunit deal, That’s the last thing you want to be predictable. I mean, I still liked how the film wrapped, but I wish they left in more mystery as to who really did it, you know? Ultimately, Horns is a very different film, but a film I really enjoyed. And its a movie I’d recommend to anyone. Especially so people can see how awesome Daniel Radcliffe is in it. Horns is released in theaters this Halloween, and is available now on all digital outlets!
I give Horns a 4/5