Juno Temple

‘Horns’ is all over the place

Daniel Radcliffe could not be doing more to dispel his Harry Potter image that so many movie fans still hold onto. From ages 12 to 22 Radcliffe personified the beloved children’s book character, but he’s moving on. He’s played beat icon Allen Ginsberg, he’s played a cynical romanticist, and he’s played a terrorized attorney. Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Horns, is truly the cherry on top of the typecast-busting sundae because no one will be thinking about Potter when they see this.

TIFF 2013: ‘Horns’ is a morbid and miserable supernatural YA love story with R-rated special effects

Based on the Joe Hill novel, Horns is about a young man (Daniel Radcliffe) who sprouts horns after his ex-girlfriend (Juno Temple) is murdered and raped. In the hands of director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes), one would hope for a mind-bending horror story about good and evil, with a special emphasis on the latter. Unfortunately, with an underdeveloped adapted screenplay (the first feature from screenwriter Keith Bunin), Horns falls short and at best, may become some decent late-night popcorn fodder with a few quotable-because-they’re-awkward lines and a charred-up Daniel Radcliffe with horns.

EIFF 2013: ‘Magic Magic’ is a superbly claustrophobic and strange thriller

It’s become something of a cliché to draw links between any claustrophobic discomfort piece and the work of Roman Polanski. Magic Magic not only has the chamber piece qualities of the man’s apartment films and Carnage, but also the island locale and proximity to paralyzing waters of films like Knife in the Water, Cul-de-sac and The Ghost Writer; furthermore, it also shares a blonde protagonist losing her grip on reality à la Repulsion. It’s an easy film to play ‘Spot the Roman’ with, but the comparison is valid and not just superficial checklist-ticking in this case. If, as a whole, it never reaches the same heights of quality as the best of Polanski’s more horror-inclined films, Sebastián Silva’s unnerving and enigmatic thriller has scenes that certainly stand up to worthy association.

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