The Student
by Callum Mckenna, 4/11/14

Horns is a film that just can’t quite make its mind up. It possesses elements of horror, mystery and a bit of black comedy, but it never manages to fit them all together into one consistent story.

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ig Perrish, a man accused of murdering his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). As the whole town turns against him, Ig finds solace at the bottom of a bottle and becomes angry with God, until he wakes up one morning with satanic horns sprouting from his forehead.

He learns that these horns grant him strange powers and influence over others, and resolves to use these abilities to uncover the truth surrounding Merrin’s death.

Radcliffe does well in a difficult role, making the best of some poor dialogue and showing off excellent emotional range.

One of the upsides to this film’s disjointed nature is that Daniel gets a lot of room for variety, as his character transitions from mourning lover to tough detective to straight-up demon.

His American accent has its rocky moments and sounds forced throughout, but it doesn’t stop him from cultivating his ultra cool persona as the film’s anti-hero.

Although Radcliffe gives a strong performance, the rest of the cast thoroughly under perform. Almost all of them give incredibly flat performances, but the worst is Max Minghella, who plays Ig’s best friend and lawyer.

His character is supposed to be charming and likeable, but thanks to Max it’s a stretch to say he even has a character. There’s no emotion in any of his lines, and he looks even more bland next to Radcliffe’s intensity.

Although the cast isn’t strong, the film focuses so heavily on Ig that it could have been saved by other elements. Unfortunately, the director Alexandre Aja fumbles his way through the screenplay.

His attempts to mix humour, violence and a love story told through flashbacks wind up feeling fractured and jarring, and result in one awkward and entirely unnecessary sex scene. In the end the best thing about this film is probably that it will help people see Daniel Radcliffe as more than just Harry Potter.