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REVIEW — “Horns”

A genre mash-up combining a murder mystery, dark humor, and religious mysticism, “Horns” is incredibly entertaining.

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Daniel Radcliffe continues to expand his resume beyond young magicians in this film playing Ig Perrish, a young man who’s just lost the love of his life, and is blamed for her murder.  He had been in love with Merrin (Juno Temple) since the moment they met as kids.  When her body is discovered, the entire town turns against him, with the exception of Lee (Max Minghella) another childhood friend, that thankfully is a public defender.  Given Merrin’s religious predisposition, Ig renounces God, since her faith apparently did nothing to protect her.  After doing so, he awakes the next morning to find two devilish horns sprouting from his forehead.  As the horns rapidly grow, so do his newfound powers.  He quickly puts these demonic powers to use in search of Merrin’s true killer.

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Director Alexandre Aja’s last movie was Piranha 3D, a fun movie but not one to be taken seriously.  “Horns” is a huge leap forward for him in every category.  Loaded with great visuals, scenery, and colors, it’s a joy to watch.   The special effects incorporated are very effective, especially in the last third of the film.  While there are some CGI effects used, the majority are practical, which makes them even more impressive.  Considering the macabre subject matter, the movie is surprisingly funny.  However, it should be noted that near the films climax, its darkness consumes the humor completely.  The way that it unfolds as a supernatural murder mystery is very entertaining.  All of the acting is right on par with what we would expect, but Daniel Radcliffe shows range that many of us haven’t seen yet.

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Creative, highly entertaining, with a great soundtrack and some great artistic touches throughout, “Horns” is not to be missed.  And while the subject matter is quite dark, the film as a whole is surprisingly uplifting.

Fun Note: The license plates on the the main character’s cars reference bible scriptures. But be careful, the verses may contain spoilers!

4.5 out of 5 Stars

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