Should I Watch It – Horns (2014)


           “I made a new friend.” – yes, this movie is both absurd & spectacular.



What would Dumbledore say, Mr. Potter…


Ok, I will refrain from too many Harry Potter jokes because Mr. Radcliffe clearly is a damn fine actor in his own right.  Just so very… short?  Extremely British?  Both, for sure.  Finding GIFs of him is fun.


Damn.  Horns rocked me.  I became too impatient and watched it VOD (before theaters woot woot.  Hollywood cringes.) while waiting for Joe Hill’s book to ship.  I’m no stickler for needing to read the book before the movie – the timing merely snuck up on me.  Probably for the best, as I had not planned on sitting down to watch this when I did, with only a general sense of background.

Oh my.  What a stylish, hellishly demented, uneven, brilliant, weird detective fantasy story with a warped romantic/coming-of age twinge.  So much to talk about, so much to avoid.  Proceed.



Should I pay to see it?

I will say a definite maybe.  The movie gets seriously dark & twisted, so this will not be for everybody off the bat.  I’ll also throw it out there that I greatly enjoyed my On-Demand experience at a fraction of the cost, so if you are willing, this is a more convoluted ‘yes’ than normal.  If horror movies upset you, if dark tales disturb you, this may very well not be an enjoyable cinema experience for you.  The movie can churn you up, given the opportunity.  ‘Tis a matter of your enjoyment level when a movie makes you squirm.  If you don’t mind feeling such a sensation out of a film (hand raised), you enjoyed the book, or are looking for some wicked fun Horns is well worth your dollars.  While no means perfect, the movie has a dark, noir style that I found to be brilliantly creepy.  Reds and grays mush with shadows and flickering lights giving the little town and the settings around a lovely, creepy feel.  Sometimes the imagery is firmly and amusingly on-the-nose (see below).  The good/evil, light/dark, devil dynamics are employed for both beautifully cinematic and darkly comic means.  Characters’ names, the lighting, snakes and objects (again, see below.  I chuckled) are presented both subtly and bluntly for cheesily heavy and moody, subversive effect.  The long and short?  The ‘feel’ of this movie, the abstract tone/atmosphere, from visual to auditory, is delightfully evil and satisfyingly cheeky.





Could I watch it with a date?

We swear these questions do not always yield the same results.  You could absolutely see this with a date, once again, as above (so below – hah.  See what I did there?) the date in question might need to like horror movies and/or have a dark sense of humor.  So, a good date in my book… but for those who do not fall into that category?  You probably don’t see it in theaters with a date – it gets weird… and heavy… and violent…  so maybe don’t see it in public.  I can see that being a weird night if you are both not on board.
Horns, as I mentioned, has some great visuals working for what is additionally a phenomenal story.  The characters are all damaged, weird and interesting (if not as well filled out as they might be in, say, a novel…) and Radcliffe was so entertaining playing into the gleeful, angry malice of his role.  Many things I’ve read have latched on to his stilted ‘American’ accent, but those people (while not entirely wrong) clearly see movies for the wrong reasons.  It’s about a guy growing horns.  Shut up about the accent, ya weenies.  The often gorgeous, generally winking cinematography gets aided by great VFX and a shocking, shocking emotional punch for what could be a ridiculous concept.  The movie can be uneven at times, well, one time.  The extended childhood flashback works better on paper being read, but I liked the kid actors and the flashback helps set up the characters’ motivations, albeit after we’ve already gotten to know them a bit.  Again, this can feel weird in a movie, but I actually liked this means of storytelling, as things felt like they were unfurlingas both Ig and we, the viewer piece more and more together.  Ig on his hunt for the truth, the viewer for the larger picture of the town, Ig’s family, friends and mind.  Even I, ever the hopeful detective, never felt I knew exactly what was going on, a testament to the story itself.


Wasn’t a great place to naturally include this in the preceding paragraphs, but the movie has some wonderful tunes, too, used to perfection.  Great fun.

Could I watch it with my mother?

Do not see this with your mother.  No good can come from that.  No matter how much she loves Daniel Radcliffe.  Especially if she loves Daniel Radcliffe.  Though there are some strong performances from some more veteran actors – Don’t see it with mom.  Just don’t.  Why put this story in her brain?  It will stick with her in a bad way.


Despite the beautifully shot film, these are not the scenes that will linger, I’m guessing 




Holy hell has it stuck with me.



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About Author: Will McMahon

Will has eclectic movie, television and music tastes. He likes Batman, horror movies and Mark Ruffalo. Has seen every episode of 'The O.C.' at least twice, so take him with a large grain of salt. Accomplished beard grower. Bad movie enthusiast. Lyrical genius. Some have said he is a real-life version of Nick Miller from 'New Girl.' No word on whether or not this is a compliment.