Daniel Radcliffe goes devilish in this visually impressive, narratively weak horror-comedy
This one had the makings of a supernatural mind-bender perfect for Halloween and other scary nights. Get over it. French director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Piranha 3D) lets his preference for cheap horror tricks overcome a blazing visual style that deserves encouragement.
Picture a small logging town in the Pacific Northwest. Picture Daniel Radcliffe as Ig Perrish, a local whom everyone in town thinks murdered his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple). Ig, given to blackouts, hopes he didn't, but it doesn't help that he grows horns and looks like a devil. The funny thing about those horns is that they spark everyone Ig meets to spill their deepest, darkest, perviest secrets.
Adapted from a novel by Joe Hill, Horns sets up Ig as a fallen angel who brings out the worst in people, except for his lawyer and childhood buddy Lee (Max Minghella). You can see where this is going. That's the problem. Radcliffe looks ready to stretch beyond the black comedy into something grave and mysterious. Aja shuts him down – cold. Shot by Blue Velvet master Frederick Elmes, Horns has style to burn, but there's no there there.