Horns showcases a battle between good and evil, though it’s not clear who – other than Ig – is on which side. From the get-go, Aja leads audiences through a small town inhabited by pleasant folk. Our town, however, begins to unravel within the first half and by the final act it’s clear that these are people who have sinister thoughts and emotions, much like our own. Except these people say these terrible things out loud!
In the film, Ig Parrish (Radcliffe) is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his longtime girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). One day, Ig wakes up with horns coming out of his cranium and realises that anyone who is near tells him about the evil thoughts they have inside their own head.
Ig is hated in the community for what he is accused to have done and is, naturally, having a difficult time coping with the entire situation considering he doesn’t remember the actual incident. The audience follows Ig as he uses the horns, and his abilities, to discover the truth about Merrin’s murder.
Religion is peppered throughout Horns with direct allegories that even the characters love to point out. Both Ig and Merrin grew up going to church and it’s not lost on anyone that Satan was a fallen angel.These notes become part of a larger weave the films spins, piling on meaning and metaphors with every step Ig takes.
Horns is not subtle in the least about it’s good/evil trope and uses it to make way for the power of hindsight, since it’s the horns that become a release for Ig in a community where everyone hates him.
The most menacing part of the whole film is that the horns become acceptable because it’s on a “murderer’s” head – Ig is “the devil” for what he “did”. The film’s final act foments an appreciation of the beginning and the consistent tone that Aja employs.
A satisfying ending makes Horns a respectable and re-watchable film. Radcliffe’s performance was spot on as well, with an American accent that was more than acceptable. In fact, four of the main characters in this film were British – all with very believable accents.
For Radcliffe, however, this is just a horny warm-up as he embarks on a path to make audience’s forget about the role that made him famous in the first place.
and David Morse.