Netflix Review: Horns

So I just saw Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe, and it was really really stupid. I mean, I had fun watching this movie, but that did not stop me from realizing that Horns at no point tries to have the rules and logic of their universe make any sense whatsoever.

 

So the main premise of Horns is that Radcliffe’s character (who’s named Iggy for some reason) is accused by his entire town of murdering his girlfriend, and now a lynch mob of sign wielders and/or news trucks follow him around trying to get him to confess to the crime. After a while of this, Radcliffe’s character inexplicably starts growing horns on his head and the people around him start confessing their deepest, darkest desires as if he’s some sort of devil.

 

Depending on what kind of person you are, this premise sounds kind of cool. I would be one of those people except that Horns puts a minuscule amount of effort into the execution of this premise. There were plenty of times during this movie where I wish they gave me more context. Are they ever going to explain why so many people are following Radcliffe around protesting his existence as if his dead girlfriend was some sort of national treasure? Are they ever going to explain why he has obtained horns? Are they ever going to explain why some people reveal their deepest, darkest secrets in front of Radcliffe and then later forget that they ever did that? Basically, if you ever get a question about the movie that begins with “Are they ever going to explain –?”, you should come into this movie expecting the answer to be “No.”

 

And all this illogic and stupidity doesn’t really occur in a manner of self-awareness. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be picking on this movie for being stupid, but the fact is that even though the stupidity is occasionally used for humorous purposes, the large majority of idiocy was because the writers were too lazy to put effort into story in a meaningful way.

 

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The acting in this movie is generally decent (aside from this child actor in the waiting room who delivered her lines so awkwardly that I couldn’t help but laugh at her), but the actual character development is fairly non-existent. Instead of developing real characters, this film basically decides how to develop their characters based on what they need to be at the moment. This made a few key players in the movie change personalities in a sudden, massive way with almost no explanation, and it was a little irritating. I felt like the story was cheating me multiple times.

 

Because this movie has people admitting their deepest darkest desires, naturally, there is a lot of sex in Horns. Quite honestly, this is the most sex I’ve seen in a movie in quite some time. As someone who usually tries to avoid movies like this, I felt it was a good idea to tell anyone like me who, for some reason, wanted to watch this movie. (And for those who might ask: No, sex in movies does not affect my grade for a movie in any significant way.)

 

Now, by the time I realized that this movie works better if you turn your brain off, I started enjoying this movie a lot more. There is a certain thrill and fun to Horns despite its inconsistencies in reasoning, tone, and development. In fact, maybe all of the inconsistencies of Horns is part of what makes it an enjoyable watch.

However, to pass this movie off as something you should just not think about and enjoy would be hypocritical of me. I pretty much hated every chick flick and comedy I’ve seen this year because it was guilty of the exact same things as Horns, but they were in genres that I have less forgiveness for.

 

On a side note, I wouldn’t necessarily call the soundtrack to this movie bad, but some of the song choices for me were kind of obnoxious and meaningless. It was like the director/writer/whoever-was-in-charge-of-music was choosing the songs for this movie based on his favorite songs from his iPod, and not really to reflect the overall tone of the movie.

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So is this a stupid, awful piece of crap? Yes, Horns is.

Is it a fun stupid, awful piece of crap? In many cases, yes.

Does that compel me to give the movie any leniency? Nope.

 

If you enjoy movies that are vulgar, absurd, unique, and quite a bit on the dark side, then give Horns a shot. However, if you enjoy movies that do not punish you for thinking about them, then Horns will seriously disappoint you, and I’m giving this movie a 3 out of 10.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Netflix Review: Horns

  1. I absolutely agree with some of your comments on the tonal problems in this movie. At times, it’s all over the place, and you can’t quite keep up. I think going into this movie having read the book was a bit better, because the book does a “better” job at developing characters overall – hint, it’s still not great at it.

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  2. For me it is so hard at times to separate thoughts out from the book – if you have a tainted perspective going in, it’s hard to keep yourself from changing that. I think the best combinations are ones that work as a synergy to each other, aka the original Lord of the Rings movies. They incorporate some of the best of Tolkien’s imagery in a series of scenery shots that it took Tolkien pages and pages to describe, and each medium builds upon the other.

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    1. Fair enough; I can sympathize. That has happened to me a few times (The Visitation by Frank Perretti comes to mind; great book, garbage movie), but I benefit from not reading very many books, so I can usually avoid these kind of feelings.

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