Horns Blu-ray Review
Genre experimentation is always fun. It gives the writer or director, sometimes both, the wonderful opportunity to create something original in the trails of others before them. HORNS is one of those movies that combines elements of horror, thriller, fantasy, and lastly, comedy. In all four elements, it finds itself twisted deep in the recesses of crude humor and sick sensibilities, but by the time it squirms its way out, it’s surprisingly thoughtful and sweet.
Ig (Radcliffe) is a seemingly nice young man, but he’s the scourge of his community. His home has trash and eggs thrown at by angry residents and news crews hound him as soon as he steps out the door. This is because he’s the prime suspect in his girlfriend’s rape and murder. He didn’t do it though. He swears. If things weren’t bad enough, he wakes up to find that horns have begun protruding from his head. Not like the horns of a water buffalo or an impala mind you, but horns like a goat, the creature generally associated with Satanism. Go ahead and Google Baphomet.
These aren’t any regular old horns though. These horns carry with them a mystic power. It causes people to reveal their darkest, most sinister thoughts and occasionally act on those urges, usually sexual and violent in nature which provides some sadistic laughs. He also discovers that even though people notice them, they soon forget about them. He also finds that by touching people, he can read their minds. So obviously with these seemingly demonic powers, he’s going to find out who really killed his girlfriend.
Radcliffe’s delivery adds a level believability to Ig, who’s clearly dealing with an absurd situation. He’s so good at transitioning from a young man lost in a dark situation to someone who joyously accepts these newfound powers. Where Radcliffe really gets to shine though, is in flashbacks with his girlfriend, Merrin (Temple). It’s even made better by Temple, who besides being some primo eye candy, gets to show off an impressive acting range.
Their scenes together also counterbalance the darkness that this movie inhabits. HORNS is a story overloaded with demented scenes, mainly highlighting the depravity of the townsfolk. In flashbacks we get to see the one beacon of light, the love between Ig and Merrin. The performances make the puppy love very tender without being too sentimental and sappy.
There’s something wholesome to be said about Ig’s journey though. Through flashbacks and reading the thoughts of others, he slowly unravels the truth while seeing the little slice of heaven he had on Earth and the path through hell he’s currently walking. He also learns to see the horns as a blessing instead of a curse that he’s been afflicted with for some previous sins.
Director Aja isn’t really known for creating something so thoughtful and in some aspects, philosophical. I know him for his gory, breast-filled delight PIRANHA 3D, but hints of that juvenile nature is still prevalent throughout HORNS. Underneath all that, HORNS has a message about positive theological ideas and how love conquers all. So go ahead, go back to my four elements at the beginning, and pencil in romance to the list of fun things you’ll find in HORNS.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:85:1) The presentation on this is flawless. The setting is always moody and filled with darkness, but it comes through clearly on this blu-ray.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) The audio is perfectly mixed, giving a smooth transition between music and dialogue.
The Making Of Horns (18:48): This is a fairly basic feature that looks over everything you’d expect, including performances, the tone of the movie, visual effects, and of course working the source material of the novel. It’s quick and to the point, but not in-depth.