In “Horns”, the devil is in the details

Ig Perrish is a wanted man, a passionate man and an innocent man accused of terrible things.Ig is also the instrument of evil and has the physical attributes to go along with it.

In the film “Horns,” Daniel Radcliffe emerges all grown up from his Harry Potter persona, to a more grown-up and arguably more tormented soul than Potter ever was.  After development and distribution nightmares, Alexandre Aja (The Hill Have Eyes – 2006) directs this visually stunning piece from the mind of Joe Hill, “demon” spawn of auteur Stephen King.

Hill’s story easily shows that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with rich and original characters with heavy Christian undertones, mostly mocking, but hey,  that’s ok!  It’s all part of the overall mood here.  There are also plenty of Easter eggs in the plot that you have to keep an eye out for, like locations, license plates, and other Christian-themed symbolism.

Ig Perrish is a misfit kid who grows up in a small mountain town in the Pacific Northwest who’s only real sanctuary is a girl who appears to him at church as if from a dream.

His dream girl, Merrin, is the only one who seems to understand Ig, and with her comes a deep river of secrets.

Flash forward to young adulthood and their love for each other has blossomed into something out of a perfect story, until it all shatters. Merrin is gone, and Ig is to blame.  Now the entire town, his family, and the media are watching his every move, due to their suspicion that he murdered her.

In the midst of it all, Ig starts sprouting horns which makes everyone around him play “devil’s advocate.”

Without word of provocation, even the smallest of children confess their deepest seeded desire to “burn mommy in bed until she is nothing” due to mommy’s extracurricular activities with her tennis instructor, causing her to ignore her daughter.  Ig’s new found powers eventually are harnessed as he attempts to find out what really happened to Merrin.

Along the way, this film is filled with tremendous visuals and music weaving through Hill’s imaginative and original story like a snake.  Full of dark humor and great performances by Radcliffe as well as welcome additions to the cast by David Morse, Max Minghella, Heather Graham, James Remar, and Joe Anderson.  There is plenty of meat on the bone with this film, including some unexpected turns.

A few main things I took away from seeing this film is first of all, to rejoice that Joe Hill is carrying on his dad’s wonderful and fresh brand of writing. Alexandre Aja has a very real chance to become a classic filmmaker with a wonderful resume.

Never second guess Daniel Radcliffe.  He may be in the slight shadow of Hogwarts, but his train is coming in and if he takes it, the skies the limit! I give this film 5 out of 5 stars, easily one of the best films to come out of 2014.

Final Verdict: 10/10

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