Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.
Meet Ig Perrish (Radcliffe); his life was never perfect, but he always had one thing that made it more than bearable, Merrin (Temple), the girl of his dreams. But after Merrin is found brutally murdered and Ig is believed by the entire town including his parents and friends, that he was the one who killed her, he begins to lose his way. Now, some time later following yet another bender, Ig awakens to find that horns have mysteriously appeared on his head. At first he is unsure how to respond, yet once he realizes that others can see them as well, he searches for a way to get rid of them. Before long he begins to understand that the horns provide him special gifts, such as having people tell him their deepest darkest secrets and then have no recollection of it immediately after. With this gift (or curse?) to assist him, Ig begins to take drastic measures in an attempt to get to the truth of who really killed his beloved Merrin no matter the cost.
Director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes & Piranha 3D) does an excellent job at the helm of ‘Horns’ and as someone who has been a fan of Aja for some time and seen most of his work throughout the years, you can really see just how far he’s come as a director, taking this disturbing (and at times quite hilarious) tale and delivering a real beauty in how it’s handled; overall easily one of Aja’s best films to date. Aja directs from a screenplay by Keith Bunin (his feature film writing debut) which was based on the phenomenal novel by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black) portrays the lead role of Ig Perrish and does a fantastic job with the part; it definitely took a little getting used to hearing him without his English accent present. The cast also includes the likes of Juno Temple, James Remar, David Morse, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Heather Graham and a number more, all of whom for the most part deliver more than capable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Horns’ is a well executed film that is not only disturbing, but often hilarious and beautifully handled in nearly every shot, providing a gorgeous atmosphere that really contributes a great deal to the overall experience of the movie. As a huge fan of Joe Hill’s novel in which ‘Horns’ was based, I’ll admit that I was disappointed by a number of elements that either didn’t make it into the film, or were drastically altered (one aspect in particular was making the film more of a mystery, which the book wasn’t in any way). Nonetheless, regardless of my qualms with the adaption of book to screen, changes such as this are often a necessary evil when bringing a novel to life in film and it doesn’t make the film any less fantastic. Overall, this is definitely a wonderful film that I would highly recommend. You may find some personal issues with if it you’ve read the novel, but should still appreciate just how well done it was and those who haven’t read the book are quite likely to absolutely love it.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Horns’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation is fantastic, the beautiful imagery and detailed surroundings look breathtaking here and even the darker and faster moving sequences hold up admirably. The colors, shapes and movement, down to every background detail look pretty spot-on, with no faults to speak of found throughout on my end. This is a more than suitable high definition video presentation that shouldn’t leave the masses at all disappointed.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless soundtrack definitely adds to the experience of ‘Horns’, maintaining a quiet and calm demeanor one moment and then hitting full force yet another. The films intense or action focused scenes, typical outdoor elements and (possibly most important) it’s wonderful and perfectly fitting soundtrack all take full advantage of the surrounding channels quite frequently, while never detracting from the audibility of the dialogue occurring simultaneously; an overall very solid and fairly active 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Horns’ is unfortunately lacking a bit in the way of bonus content, but does include one solid and worthwhile extra: a Featurette titled ‘The Making of Horns’ which runs approximately 18 minutes in length and takes a look Behind the Scenes exploring different aspects of what went into bringing the film to life.
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