Horns (Alexandre Aja, 2013)

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Horns, directed by Alexandre Aja (2013).

Score: I guess “curious” is the right word.

Someone murdered Merrin Williams (Juno Temple) and everyone thinks it was Ignatius Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe), his middle school sweetheart and lifelong boyfriend. Ig one day grows a pair of goat-like horns and people start being disturbingly honest to him. Ig decides to use his newfound powers to find Merrin’s true killer and take vengeance on them.

I’ve been thinking about fantasy tropes and fantastic elements in narrative and I had decided that more often than not these have a symbolic or metaphoric nature. So for the first half of the movie or so I was very content with interpreting the horns as a symbol of Ig’s quite literal demonisation in the eyes of the public, and the reason why Lee didn’t see them was that he was the only one who thought he was innocent. But as the movie goes on it becomes painfully obvious that he is actually turning into a demon and in this movie a cigar is just a cigar. Well, you can enjoy such a film all the same.

There is also a very curious shift in tone throughout the film. It starts as a quite dirty black comedy that veers into a whodunnit and ends up being a complete fantasy tearjerker. The imagery is just Christian imagery we’re all familiar with in the West and it sticks to horns, snakes and even a freaking pitchfork, all opposed to Merrin’s gold chain with a cross. It doesn’t really stray from the beaten path in that sense. All the middle school clique with a pair of sweethearts in it that goes horribly wrong reminded me a lot of The butterfly effect.

I wouldn’t actively recommend to watch it but it was entertaining. Good to watch if they air it on TV on a Saturday afternoon after you take a nap.

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