Can Harry Potter pull off an American accent? If you play David Bowie backwards can you hear the Devil speak to you? Is being friend-zoned a special kind of hell? These questions and more will be answered in this edition of Worth It? when we check out the trippy 2014 horror/crime film Horns staring Daniel Radcliffe.
Radcliffe plays Ig, a radio DJ who has been accused of raping then murdering his longtime girlfriend. The movie begins with a shot of the couple happy together in the woods than transitions to Ig waking up on his kitchen floor from a bender. Outside is the requisite media circus that goes along with a beautiful, young, white girl getting murdered.
We get a few scenes introducing the players in this drama (his family, her family, their circle of friends) before we get to the real premise. After pissing (literally) on God, Ig wakes up with horns sprouting from his head. And the horns give him powers such as getting people to confess their secrets, letting Ig command them to do things, and basically making people give in to their basest desires. Ig decides to use these powers to help him catch his girlfriend’s killer.
The central premise of this movie was intriguing enough to get me to watch and it was used fairly well throughout the film. The best part of the movie is Radcliffe’s performance which carries a weaker script. His reaction to his new powers and to the disdain his community feels towards him are both completely believable.
The movie has two major problems. The first is that it can’t decide if it’s supposed to be a mystery or a horror film. If it’s a mystery make the audience and the characters work a bit more to get answers. If horror embrace the darkness (or the camp gore either works). The second problem is that the thing is stuffed full of flashbacks that either don’t add a whole lot or blatantly telegraph the who did it part of the who done it. I would have happily done away with a lot of those scenes to spend more time in the present exploring the devil within us all.
Final verdict? Though Horns is far from perfect I liked it. I’d definitely recommend it to any fans of the Horror genre out there or people who like to see something original regardless of whether or not it totally works. I’m pretty on the fence about giving this a recommendation but I think in the end Radcliffe’s performance pushes me over the top and I’m gonna go ahead and say yes Horns was worth it.