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.

Movie review: Silver Linings Playbook.

Summary: I love this movie. If you watch the trailer and you think it looks good too, then watch the movie, because it’s as good as that.

Spoiler Scope: This review contains spoilers. Watch the movie first.

The movie is a fairly typical guy meets girl, there’s some ‘will they or won’t they’, conflict, and then a happy ending, romantic comedy. Except. Both boy and girl have mental conditions.

He has bi-polar disorder which leads him to act violently at times, and she… it’s not explicitly stated what her condition was from what I remember, but she would go through phases of self destructive behaviour, or act crazy at times.

What I liked about this movie, is that while keeping the tone fairly light hearted, it did touched on several real dynamics of managing mental illness.

For example there’s a whole scene of them discussing their triggers, and what they’ll do to manage themselves if they’re in a triggering situation. This is perhaps a dynamic that people unfamiliar with mental illnesses are aware of, and so it’s nice to shed some light on this subject in an otherwise fun and entertaining manner.

The movie challenged my values about a couple of things:

The father is a compulsive gambler, and there’s a scene toward the end of the movie where he’s making a gamble on the outcome of their pair’s dance routine. I was thinking, and the movie expressed ‘This is incredibly irresponsible, they shouldn’t be encouraging this behaviour’. But the movie went forward with it anyway, and got me thinking ‘Even if the behaviour is probably irresponsible, in larger contexts it can still be ok’.

The second is that the ex-wife has cheated on him, which is what initially triggered his event that caused him to be hospitalised. At first I’m thinking ‘What a bitch!’, and think of her as the classic antagonist. But actually – you realise, what you think of cheating aside, that it probably was really difficult for her to live with him, and undiagnosed bipolar case which the movie gives you hints that other incidents had been occuring before the main one. In my experience of it, the movie quite cleverly shows that there are two sides of the story, even though the side we’re mainly rooting for is the guy’s.

A major plot point of the film is that the couple are preparing for a dance routine. For people who dance regularly, this maybe be an enjoyable aspect of the movie.

Overall, if you’re in the mood for a laugh, this is a good movie to watch.