Pedestrian symbolism and poor plot re-imagination cheapens the film adaptation Horns from Joe Hill's novel of the same title.
Daniel Radcliffe is Ig, a grieving boyfriend who inexplicably grows horns from his forehead after the community he lives in finds him culpable for the death and murder of his girlfriend Merrin.
Horns is about the supernatural and fantastical happenings within the New Hampshire town of Gideon. Once Ig realizes the horns sprouting from his head contain special abilities he begins his search for the killer of his true love Merrin, despite Gideon’s inhabitants convictions that Ig is the culprit.
Horns is an interesting enough concept but despite the novel premise is a flat film overall. The film contains themes of religion, philosophy, and symbolism. With such a rich thematic I can’t help but feel that the main cause for the ineffectiveness of Horns is a butchered plot during the adaptation process into a screenplay by Keith Bunin.
The beginning of the film is unremarkable as are the majority of plot events signaling progression. Once Ig, Daniel Radcliffe, wakes up from his drunken night to find that in the mirror the face looking back it him has horns in its cranium the film takes an entertaining turn. All the deep dark but honest truths spill out from those he speaks with and it’s humorously enjoyable. With the exception of his distracting attempt at an American accent I thought Daniel Radcliffe did a fine job, thanks especially in part to the chemistry oozing Juno Temple, who plays his departed paramour Merrin.
Even their sultry sex scenes could not save the washed out film. Everything about the symbolism is heavy handed, dumbed down and incredibly underdeveloped. Apparently every character to ever become acquainted with Merrin is obsessed with her purity and virtues and that is the extent of justification. There are no real explanations or motives behind anyone’s behavior except Ig’s search for the truth. Least of all explained is the motivation for nor believable character development for the unveiled killer who we ultimately identify in the end of the film. In having the environment of Horns be more realistic than fantastic even the slightest events seemed farfetched.
Horns is a lackluster disappointment exacerbated by its wondrous analogous setting. The platitudinous symbolic scenes are glaring and laughably unsubtle with snakes crawling and several scenes taking place in “Eve’s Diner” and feels like someone’s senior thesis. For a movie called Horns, I would at least like a feasible and logical explanation why Ig grows horns, which I personally must have missed.