Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner, James Remar, Kathleen Quinlan, Heather Graham, David Morse, Michael Adamthwaite, Nels Lennarson, Don Thompson, Jay Brazeau, Alex Zahara, Kendra Anderson
Written by: Keith Bunin, based on a novel by Joe Hill
Directed by: Alexandre Aja
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, disturbing violence including a sexual assault, language and drug use
Running Time: 120
Date: 10/31/2014
IMDB

Horns (2014)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Getting the Point

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on a novel by Joe Hill (the son of Stephen King), Horns feels cramped and cluttered, even at two full hours in length. Whereas a novel might have had more room to explore its classical themes of good and evil, the movie can't seem to figure out what it's really about. Ideas are raised, contradicted, and dropped. But these are certainly more potentially interesting than the rudimentary "mystery" that the movie unfolds.

Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) and Merrin Williams (Juno Temple) have been in love since childhood, and now Merrin has been murdered, and Ig is the prime suspect. His best pal Lee (Max Minghella) is a lawyer and busily prepares Ig's defense and keeps him out of jail. But while Ig faces angry, accusing crowds and tries to drink his pain away, he wakes up to find that he has begun to grow horns on his head. He quickly finds that the horns give him weird, devilish powers, and he begins to use them to find out who really killed Merrin. But when he does, what will he decide to do?

Radcliffe is magnetic here; he's in nearly every scene and is required to give a high-pitched performance, aching and angry. Though the movie contains some terrific supporting actors, including the always-welcome James Remar and Kathleen Quinlan as Ig's parents, not to mention as Juno Temple and David Morse, none of them have much room to develop. Director Alexandre Aja has thus far had an uneven career as a genre director, and he seems to fare better when dealing with lighter material, like Piranha 3D.

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