This was always a title I was a bit curious about, just looking at the movie poster for it. I mean, there's Harry Potter with a couple of horns on his head, and he's just looking kinda casual. Thankfully, it can now be found on Netflix, so I finally decided to see what it was all about.
Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is the prime suspect in his girlfriend, Merrin Williams' (Juno Temple) murder. He goes into hiding, but manages to sneak into the candle-lit vigil that Merrin's father has for her, hiding in a tree house. After everyone leaves the ceremony, Ig proceeds to go full-drunken-rage on things with the inclusion of urinating on and breaking a statue of the virgin Mary... certainly one of the more "evil" things I've seen on screen, and I watch 'Game of Thrones'!
After the incident, Ig wakes up the next morning with horns protruding from his head; most likely from his act of desecration. But here's where it starts to get a bit confusing. As he goes to the doctor to try to figure out what the horns are all about, and if they can be removed, he has encounters with people who fully illustrate their evil-most thoughts to him. For example, the girl he wakes up next to that morning seems to be fully aware of the horns, and proceeds to pig out on a box of donuts in a very animalistic way, illustrating her gluttony, and that she probably has a horrible eating disorder which includes vanity. Then at the doctors office, a woman talks about her screaming kid in a very murderous and hateful way; wrath, you get the picture. But once he's in the doctor's office, the doctor seems perfectly fine with the fact that he's got horns, and offers to remove them. Ig wakes up in the middle of things only to find his doctor having sex next to him while he's under, which I guess shows lust, but does that mean that he's not only hearing sinner thoughts but seeing their acts of what they want to do as well? Trust me, if you're confused now, you feel exactly like I did by this point. He goes on to find one guy, his friend Lee, who can't see the horns, so for most of the movie you're just asking "okay, how do these horns work, exactly?" In the end, you get a bit of an answer, but it's still a bit foggy as to HOW it all works.
Anyway, the movie is generally about him getting the truth out of people and using this to track down Merrin's real killer. Along the way, we get several flashbacks to the characters' childhoods just to give us some kind of emotion, and try to get us to feel what Ig is feeling. But even then, I can't say it all paid off. Merrin's character is kind of unfortunately dull. Your care for her doesn't lie in her character so much as the sorry feeling that she was murdered terribly. It's not "OH NO! NOT MERRIN!" so much as "Aw, that's a damn shame."
This one reminded me quite a bit of 'The Butterfly Effect' in so many ways. Mostly just the delving into the past and watching all these dark moments unfold throughout the movie. However, unlike 'The Butterfly Effect', the ending here is SUCH a bummer! Not in the sense that it's a down-ending, but in the sense of it just straight up copping out. That said, I do not know how I would have ended something like this, myself. But I can say I'd put more focus on his ability to see and hear people's sins. That's an idea that they could have had a bit more fun with, I think.
One thing I will give this movie quite solidly, however, was Daniel Radcliffe's acting... But sadly, that's about it. I haven't seen the guy in much else than the 'Harry Potter' series and 'The Woman in Black' which was basically 'Harry Potter and the Woman in Black' as it was. This was one role of his where I was finally able to say "okay, this dude's got great potential". He was also good in 'Swiss Army Man', which was interesting, but REALLY messed up and strange. Come to think of it, I wonder, between 'Horns' and 'Swiss Army Man' what was the more messed up movie?... 'Horns'... It's gotta be 'Horns' if only because at least 'Swiss Army Man' had some heart.
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