I just finished watching Horns, and I have to say, I was really impressed. I'm a Dan Radcliffe fan, so I'll give most of his movies a watch, but I was not expecting to like this one as much as I did. It is a great, great movie, a study of character and desperation in the surreal setting of a young man who suddenly finds himself growing horns.
A quick summary of the plot: accused of his girlfriend's murder, Ig Perrish is pursued by the press and hated by everyone in the small town where he lives. When, one morning, he wakes up and sprouts horns.
The horns: a sign of a guilty man, or of a desperate one? That is the beauty of this story - to begin with, we don't know. I won't spoil the movie for anyone by saying which it is, but I will say that Ig's journey through the film is heartbreaking at the same time as being compulsive viewing. When we meet him, Ig is already broken, traumatised by the death of his girlfriend, Merrin, played brilliantly in flashback by Juno Temple, but, on the surface, defiant against the people who hate him. He denies his involvement in the murder, but even his own parents think he did it.
Ig is a man destroyed by love, a love that possibly led to murder, and then he grows horns. Hell of a left field thing that, could have destroyed the film played differently, but, although this movie is sometimes listed as a dark comedy, I didn't laugh, in fact, I thought the whole thing was played straight and that meant we stepped from murder mystery into surreal horror without skipping a beat. Brilliantly done, just brilliant.
The horns turn Ig into a strange kind of confessor, where everyone tells him their darkest secrets, even acting many of them out. It's unsettling and dark, but the characters still felt genuine. I recommend the scene where Ig talks to his mother.
I was glued to the film the whole way through, there wasn't actually a boring moment, even the flashbacks, which in some movies I have found tedious, slotted in to the flow of the film perfectly. Horns is an expertly crafted story and a polished film.