Movie Review: ‘Horns’ Becomes More And More Disjointed As It Progresses


Preston Barta // Editor

HORNS | 120 min. | Rated R | Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli GarnerJames RemarKathleen Quinlan, Heather Graham and David Morse

HORNS, a tale about a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend and grows devil horns on his head, is all over the place in terms of structure. Something about the project, despite the talents from horror extraordinaire Alexandre Aja (THE HILLS HAVE EYES, 2006), feels simultaneously rushed and long-winded.

We come to know the Radcliffe’s character, Ig, and his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple), pretty well for the most part, but we know not much of anything from his other acquaintances and kinfolk. They are just kind of thrown in, and are there just because they need to be (the film is based on Joe Hill’s novel of the same name). Of course, they are not the focus of the story, but they play a big part in the film’s final and most crucial moments. So when those moments come, the impact doesn’t have the proper weight.


Daniel Radcliffe stars in HORNS. Photo courtesy of RADiUS-TWC.

There are many great scenes in the film, such as one where Ig utilizes the power of the horns to his advantage and has news reporters beat the crap out of each other to obtain an exclusive interview with him. But with every great scene, comes a lot of dry exposition and some big-time tonal issues.

HORNS is far from being a complete waste of time. It’s great to see what Radcliffe brings to the role, and to hear his American accent (as an avid HARRY POTTER watcher, it gets distracting). So while it may not be that rush-out-of-your-house type of October release, it’s worth checking out on a rainy day once it hits store shelves and Netflix libraries.

HORNS opens in theaters tomorrow.

Our Interview with director Alexandre Aja

0:26 | Aja’s inspiration and fascination of the horror genre
2:46 | How the horror genre is constantly reinventing itself
5:18 | The things that happen when you’re young that stick with you for a lifetime
7:00 | On directing Daniel Radcliffe, breaking away from HARRY POTTER

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.