Movie Review: Horns

Spoiler scope: First section gives a summary of the tone and plot of the movie, while purposefully avoiding spoilers. This is followed by a second section separated by an image which discussed a key spoiling plot point.

Summary: A thoroughly original and enjoyable watch. 8/10.


Horns is a supernatural quirky murder mystery thriller.

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ig,  a man accused of murdering his childhood sweet heart. He grows horns which mysteriously cause everyone who’s sees them to confess their deepest secrets and request his permission to act on them. This creates a few enjoyable, amusing scenes.

While the theme of the movie is obviously on the grisslier side of life, featuring drugs, murder and hateful attitudes, it’s not trying to be dark and serious. It’s fairly light and even uplifiting, with several moments to make you laugh.

I found the movie to be an effective escapism. The world is fantastical enough to be not taken relevant to our real lives, gritty enough to be engaging and keep you on edge, but otherwise light and uplifting and a pleasure to watch.

The movie got bad reviews. The reviews tend to praise Radcliffe’s acting, but pan the film for being an incoherent or clumsy attempt of the theme. I think the criticism perhaps has merit, but I’d suggest that these reviewers were looking at the film too seriously – expecting a profoundly deep or serious experience for Radcliffe’s first big role after the Harry Potter franchise.

Overall – a thoroughly original film, and worth putting in your collection for a rainy day.

Warning: Major spoilers past this point. 

One of the major plot reveals is that the reason … breaks up with Ig is because she an inherited cancer that will cause her to die young. She then chooses to tell Ig that she wants to leave him and lets him believe that she’s in love with someone else. Her rationale for this, as she expresses in a letter she leaves for him, is that it will allow him to move on with his life and have children and not have his life held up with her dying a slow and early death like her father did with her mother.

I thought this reflected bad decision making on her part. A much better outcome than this would be to be upfront about being sick, and let him know that she’s only here for a short time and to make the most of it while they can. When she starts getting too sick, it being a movie and her being completely idealistic, she can opt to euthanasia herself then.

As the audience we can perhaps accept this as a character flaw on her part, but we shouldn’t accept her decisions as the tragically inevitable best outcome.

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