I need to share some credit again for helping me discover that this story exists:
Started reading “Horns” by @joe_hill this morning. So far so (really) good! Heard @paxtonholley talk about it on @nerdlunch a while ago.
— Geek Mentality Mike (@geekmentality) December 16, 2013
The movie is based on the 2010 Joe Hill book of the same title. I heard about the book while listening to an episode of the Nerd Lunch Podcast, and became interested immediately. And then I forgot all about it until I was at a Family Dollar store. Yes, a dollar store. At the front of the store was a bin of hardcover books. You guessed it, all costing $1.00. I skimmed it while at the checkout getting my groceries – okay that part is a lie – and “Horns” was right there at the top. What’s one more dollar on the receipt right?
Besides hearing about the book itself through Nerd Lunch (a part of the Atomic Geeks Podcast Network™), I was already familiar with the author – Joe Hill, born Joseph Hillstrom King. You’ve probably heard of his father.
I became aware of Joe Hill from his amazing comic, Locke & Key so I was definitely interested in reading the book. Which I did. And I really liked it.
I love when I’ve read a book that I enjoy and see that it’s going to be a movie. I like to see how the films differ from the story, the only problem is I never seem to remember the little details that may differ. I’m always like, “Wait that was different in the book, right?” The same thing happened with today’s movie. Little things are different, but the main story is still there.
The story of Horns follows Ignatius “Ig” Perrish (Radcliffe), a young man accused of killing his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). Just about everybody in his small logging town thinks that he’s guilty, except his best friend and lawyer Lee (Max Minghella) who is working to prove his innocence.
His life goes from having a life he loves, to a living in hell – and out of nowhere one day he wakes up to find that he’s starting to grown horns.
Hence the title.
The thing about the horns is, while most people seem to notice the, nobody Ig comes across makes a huge deal about them. Instead, they start doing and saying things that they would never do. Things that they may be thinking, but would never say. Things that they may try to hide in the back of their mind. Their real truths are revealed in front of Ig. Some of these truths lead to some awkward situations. Some of these truths end up being quite funny and absurd. Other times, the truths become almost sad as Ig hears what certain people really think of him and if he killed his girlfriend.
Ig also finds that he has a certain level of power over people, where he can suggest they do something and they will do it. He uses these powers to try to get to the truth of Merrin’s murder and find out who really killed her.
A few things of note:
- The four main actors in this movie, Radcliffe, Temple, Minghella, and Joe Anderson (who played Ig’s brother Terry) are all British folks playing American. It takes a few minutes to get used to hearing Daniel Radcliffe, who we’ve seen in 8 Harry Potter movies, talk like he’s from the US. He does a pretty good job of it.
- Daniel Radcliffe really has a way with snakes.
- This the third FNE Movie that I’ve read the book for before watching the movie. The other two are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and the American classic, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. But this is the first of those without a colon in the title. Not sure if that’s even worth mentioning, but it’s too late. No way I could just hit the backspace and edit that line out. Too much effort involved.
I enjoyed the movie, though not as much as I did the book only because (as often is the case) the book was a little more truncated (I think that is the right word). But I would recommend Horns to people who don’t mind a movie that goes down dark/weird avenues. It was weird and scary, but also funny and fun. And sad. Did I mention good?
Anyway, check it out. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.