Posts Tagged ‘Horns’


Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 2.18.07 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse reviews the weekend’s big releases, “Maps to the Stars,” “Nightcrawler,” “Before I Go to Sleep” and “Horns.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

HORNS: 1 ½ STARS. “there’s very little sympathy for this devil.”

Daniel-Radcliffe-HornsFor much of its running time the new film “Horns” has the kind of over-the-top black humour And easy vulgarity of a Stephen King adaptation from the 1980s. It’s not by accident either. It’s in its genes. You see, it’s based on a novel by Joe Hill, eldest son of Maine’s most famous writer of horror fiction.

Daniel Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, a young man accused of killing his longtime girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). His life has been turned upside down. Protestors with signs that read, “You Will Burn in Hell!” and reporters camp outside his home twenty-four seven and the only people who think he’s innocent are his family and his lawyer and best friend Lee (Max Minghella).

One morning Ig wakes up to discover the disapproval of the world and the hangover he’s fighting aren’t the worst things happening in his life. In the night big, dark devil horns have sprouted from his forehead. “They hurt like hell,” he says.

He soon discovers the horns prompt people to tell him their deepest, darkest desires. “I hate mommy,” says a little girl in a doctor’s office. “I want to burn her in her bed with matches!” This newfound honesty is occasionally hurtful—“She was my favorite thing about you,” Ig’s father says about Merrin—but also provides helpful information in Ig’s search for his girlfriend’s true killer.

“Horns” is a tricky story to bring to the screen. It’s admittedly very visual—the sight of Harry Potter with devilish goat horns crowning his head is memorable for sure—but tone wise it’s all over the place. Director Alexandre Aja gear shifts through Ig’s range of emotions in present day and flashback, without ever making us care that much about his situation, past or present. It’s not exactly a horror film, or a romance or even a murder mystery. Instead it’s a movie that feels like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces from another puzzle forced in to fit.

The idea, I suppose, is to present a story that defies any of its genre inspirations, but the result is an unholy mix; a lackluster fable that fails to mine the material for subtext or a moral, and leaves the audience with very little sympathy for this devil.

Joe Hill talks Horns: Much more than a horror movie about the devil

dan-radcliffe-hornsBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Courtesy Lionsgate Daniel Radcliffe’s character discovers he has acquired dark new powers in “Horns.”

“The book is a really unhappy, paranoid novel by a really unhappy, paranoid man,” says author Joe Hill of his thriller Horns, now a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe as a man who grows devil horns after he’s accused of murdering his girlfriend.

“I wasn’t in a great place mentally when I wrote it, (but) I’m very proud of Horns. I think it’s a really fun novel.

“I had tremendous success with Heart Shaped Box and I fell into that cliché, the second novel trap. I wrote 400 pages of a novel I threw away. It was called The Surrealist Glass and it didn’t work. It was no good. Although in some ways the Surrealist Glass was the first draft of Horns because there were ideas and elements and even one or two chapters that were almost lifted wholesale and slotted into Horns.”

The book finally came into focus when Hill, the son of none other than Stephen King, remembered a line he once read in a review of a sci-fi movie: ‘This movie doesn’t quite succeed because it isn’t about anything except itself.”

“The science-fiction film (that the critic) was talking about was a prequel to a well-known franchise about trade federations and robots blowing each other up,” says Hill, the eldest son of horror legend Stephen King, “and it wasn’t about anything except lasers, guns and robots. It didn’t ask any of the great, almost unanswerable questions that people turn to fiction to explore.

“The one thing I always look for in a story is for it to have some sort of internal life.

“To be about something more than just a ghost or a vampire or a devil; to ask some kind of interesting question so it is about something bigger than itself. That’s very possible to do in fantasy.

“I think any story about the devil is the same way. What happens when all the dirty secrets come out? What would it be like to be tempted by the things you fear most?”

The resulting book earned critical praise — Publisher’s Weekly called it a “compulsively readable supernatural thriller” — and snagged him a Bram Stoker Award nomination for best novel. “Now when he’s asked what he thinks of Alexandre Aja’s film adaptation of his “unhappy, paranoid novel” he is effusive.“I think the film is wonderful,” he says.

“It has a lot of cross-genre elements. It’s funny. It has romance. It has a tragic aspect. It has a horror movie aspect to it.

“Someone asked me when I was in Toronto for the premiere, ‘What genre is it?’, and I said, ‘It’s a tragecomehorredy.’ I have no idea what the rest of the world will make of it, but I think it’s a lot of fun.”

What you didn’t Daniel Radcliffe: He’s on time, hard working and polite

fwordBy Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

There are things about Daniel Radcliffe that you probably already know.

Thanks to the Harry Potter series he’s one of the most recognizable actors on earth. He is 5’5” tall, a published poet and is the youngest person, other than royalty, to be honoured with a portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.

Here’s what you don’t know. He’s also remarkably reliable. In 10 years of shooting the Potter pictures, he only missed two days — and he’s polite.

For this interview he turned up early (when was the last time an international superstar was on time?) and greets your reporter with a hearty, “What a lovely surprise.”

He offers to help with my crossword — “I’m one of those people in life who probably really annoys serious crossword doers. I’m one of those people who comes up behind and goes, ‘That one you’re about to get? I’ve got it’” — and apologizes when he almost lets a curse slip.

He is not your typical superstar and his new romance, The F Word, is not a typical rom-com.

The 25-year-old actor says the story of a young man hopelessly in love with his best friend (Zoe Kazan) “has things a lot of films want, that combination of being sarcastic and quick and funny without being negative or cynical.”

“Zoe says a great thing,” he says of co-star Kazan.

“She talks about how in most romantic comedies the people meet and then there’s a getting-to-know-you montage, then they do whatever they’re going to do for the rest of the film. Our movie is basically that montage expanded to feature length, and that is what is so joyous about it. Those moments when you are getting to know someone and flirting with them, making them laugh, are so intimate and so exciting and so charged that as an audience it is wonderful to be allowed in to watch that and live through it again.”

Playing the lovesick romantic lead is something different for Radcliffe, who says he wants “to try my hand at as many things as possible.”

Since the final Potter film in 2011, he has appeared in everything from the beatnik drama Kill Your Darlings to the fantasy film Horns and will soon be seen as Igor in a new version of Frankenstein.

“Having played one character for a very long time,” he says, “that builds up in you a desire to play a number of different characters and do as much different work as you can. I want to show as many different sides of my ability as I can. Also I like that you can’t predict what my next thing is going to be.”

Unpredictable, yes, but still polite.