Horns: Sympathy for the Devil

Mayra Maradiaga, Featured Writer

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Horns (2013), a dark fantasy crime drama based on author Joe Hill’s equally intriguing eponymous novel, stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ig Perrish, a man who has been wrongfully accused of murdering his girlfriend and who subsequently must bear the awkward and very public reminder of his supposed shame.

Unfortunately for Perrish, a heavy drinker whose borderline alcoholism robbed him of his memory of that fateful night, all evidence points at the fact that he did in fact kill his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). Living in a town full of people who believe him to be guilty and followed constantly by accusing journalists, Perrish finds himself isolated and with very little support. Even Ig’s family, who try their best to keep positive and support him through his troubles, hide their own suspicions of his involvement on that night a year prior.

Adding a supernatural sense to the film, Perrish physically begins to become what the townspeople continuously call him: The Devil. The morning after another drunken night, our protagonist wakes up with horns protruding from his head, later realizing that when people look upon his new deformity, they are compelled to confess their sins and ask permission for their hedonistic desires. Throughout the rest of the film, Perrish decides to use his new power find his girlfriend’s true killer.

After nearly a decade of seeing Radcliffe in his role as the boy wizard Harry Potter, audiences may be a bit confused or uncomfortable at seeing him in this very grown up portrayal as Ig Parrish. The lack of his native English accent aside, Radcliffe’s performance, as well as the entire tone of this film is weird to say the least. Trading in a scar on his forehead for horns in this film, Radcliffe embodies evil in a way that his fans are not accustomed to.

Taking a biblical approach, the filmmaking team responsible for Horns, lead by horror veteran Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes), made sure not to take things too far into the realm of the offensive. Of course, this movie adaptation is not for everyone. To say it is different to other horror films that are being released nowadays is an understatement.

Despite a unique plot, and interesting camera work and special effects that make it visually impressive, the story itself begins to fizzle out towards the end. Unfortunately, it isn’t too hard to decipher where this plot is going toward the end of this film.

If you like films with hidden symbolism scattered throughout, then this is the kind of movie for you. If you like what is weird and appreciate originality, then Horns should be on your queued list as soon as possible.

Horns is now available for streaming on Netflix.

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