Daniel Radcliffe is doing a great job of distancing himself from the boy-wizard character that made him a star. His choices of roles, on both the stage and screen, have been mature, well-thought and never once played on the role that made him famous.
Horns may just be the movie that manages to distance him from Potter enough to be recognised and acknowledged for something else. It is dark, mature, sinister, blackly humorous and in no way includes wizards or magic.
It is also the furthest from Daniel Radcliffe that I’ve seen Daniel Radcliffe. He isn’t a weedy, well-mannered Brit or a quiet but brilliant student. Radcliffe plays Ig who is a foul-mouthed, poorly dressed, unkempt figure who is at the darkest point in his life. It is the furthest from the charming young actor who has been gracing the talk shows but Radcliffe pulls it off really well.
The role proves he can play dark, troubled characters. It also demonstrates his very adept handling of humour, as the film is at it’s best when it is funny. Ig’s newly acquired horns make anyone he comes in contact with spill their darkest secrets and desires. This makes for the best moments of the movie, with total strangers spilling their innermost thoughts and in some cases, even acting upon those wants.
That’s not to say the main story, in which Ig searches for the killer of his girlfriend, is not compelling. It is a basic whodunnit but with Ig’s ability to make people confess, it adds an extra dimension to the mystery. Red herrings, deceit and some tense revelations make the story flow really well and you will be urging Ig to find out who the killer is and then do something about it.
The reveal of the killer is handled well but the film feels like it loses it’s direction and edge after this. There is a whole act based on vengeance that takes the long road to reach it’s conclusion and when it finally does, the ending feels both silly and in some cases unresolved.
It does tarnish what is a great movie though and it is down to the central performance above anything else. Radcliffe gets to do some very cool things, say very un-Potter things and do this all to a great soundtrack.
Overall, Horns is Radcliffe’s best performance yet and showcases his acting talent. It is also a very funny, entertaining mystery, with a supernatural twist that sets it apart from the usual amateur-detective fare. The ending lets it down slightly, with some questions still feeling unanswered.
Rating – 4
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)