Horns (2013)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting and different horror-mystery

Story gets muddled at the end

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Horns

Studio:  Red Granite Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  September 6, 2013 (Toronto International Film Festival)/October 31, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Life is going to be perfect forever…right?

Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) lives in a small logging town…and he’s suspected of murdering his girlfriend Merrin Williams (Juno Temple).  With the town and even his family against him, Ig’s only ally is his best friend Lee Tourneau (Max Minghella).  Merrin’s faith didn’t protect her, and Ig is angry about it.  When he wakes up with horns on head, he finds that the horns seem to cause people to reveal their deepest and darkest secrets to him.  Ig must find Merrin’s killer and the horns might be the key to uncovering the mystery of his one love’s death.


Got to play the role

Directed by Alexandre Aja, Horns is based on the best-selling 2010 novel by Joe Hill.  The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and was given a limited release in 2014.  The movie was met with mixed reviews.

I bought the novel of Horns relatively soon after it was released.  I read Hill’s other novel Heart-Shaped Box when it was new and relatively enjoyed it.  Despite this, I didn’t get to Horns.  Watching the movie makes me want to revisit the book and see if the book gets right what the movie does wrong.


I lost my dental insurance…back off!

For the most part, I enjoyed the movie.  The concept is fun and the weird feel of the movie gives it a bit of a horror fantasy feel that is original and different.  In the presentation, there is a lot of humor and satire that keeps the movie from getting too heavy.  The problem with the film arises near the end of the movie which loses steam.  I’m not a fan of his retribution time when he seeks out revenge on the people who wronged him and the angel/demon moment at the end of the movie feels sloppy.

Daniel Radcliffe does impress by giving his Harry Potter persona the boot.  Shia LaBeouf  was originally scheduled to play the lead, but Radcliffe works much, much better.  The movie has a lot of stars appearing in small roles including Juno Temple, James Remar, Kathleen Quinlan, Heather Graham, Joe Anderson, and David Morse, and the acting is strong on all parts.


Once you go “demon” you never go back!

The movie also benefits from some great visuals.  I love the Pacific Northwest as a setting.  It has a strange, eerie feel to it.  The movie needs this.  It is that surreal nature that helps the movie work (or at least almost work).  I don’t like when the movie goes for the over-the-top visual of the real demon at the end of the film, but I like the hints of the true demon inside Ig throughout the movie.

Horns is just one of those movies that isn’t quite there.  It is frustrating because I enjoy much of the movie.  For the most part, I think the movie works and can recommend it.  It isn’t perfect, but a fun, different horror mystery.  Horns is a flawed and imperfect film but a worthy ride.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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