weird movies #4 “Horns” (2013)


Lately I’ve been noticing some of Daniel Radcliffe post-Hogwarts roles, although I think a lot of people have gotten the false impression that he’s not really up to much. Aside from Horns (and of course, The Woman in Black), he’s been in A Young Doctor’s Notebook, this sort of dark-comedy tv show about a doctor starting his career in a small Russian Village (featuring Jon Hamm, which also seems ridiculous to me). Also, this picture, for which I have absolutely no context know for a fact really happened:


Anyway, Horns is definitely another weirdish movie that got undeserved review shade. In it, Ig (ie, Daniel Radcliffe) is falsely accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, and starts to grow horns and exhibit a supernatural influence on those around him. It ties in a lot of biblical motifs — crosses, snakes, the fall, and the garden of Eden, but also the darker sides of ourselves that we keep hidden. Wherever Ig goes, people are compelled to tell the truth and act out their impulses, and the meaning is pretty clear; we all have demons (to draw symbolism from the film), or we’re all full of that good ol’ original sin, if you like to take that reading for it. (I also spotted a relevant tarot card hidden in the background of one of the scenes, so keep an eye out for that!)

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The narrative feels very stylized — both because of the little metaphysical nudges but also because of the setting. The forest and the diner are focal points in the film, which personally gave me a lil Twin Peaks vibe, and the car Ig drives is this kind of ridiculous tacky red thing. Technology is, not absent exactly, but shoved out of the way, and the music is played on vinyl, giving the movie a nostalgic feel. At the same time, there are a few little pulls back to reality — a McDonalds in the background, Merrin (the murdered ex-girlfriend) mentioning that “nobody does that” in reference to their fairytale-esque romance. It’s like they’re all aware the normal world exists, but it’s like 5 miles away and they’re in a little bubble. I personally thought it was interesting.

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I’ve been thinking about how vague the description of “weird” is for a film (or anything really). It’s so relative, but I think within the context of “weird movies” as a reoccurring post here, I’m talking about movies that are one or more of the following:  dark, surreal, poorly rated or otherwise unpopular, hiding in a netflix black hole, independent/low budget, cult movies, or anything really that works with magic-y stuff.

Content warning: this movie depicts a sexual assault, and there are also some fairly gross/bloody injuries. Keep this in mind if you decide to watch it!

xoxo, stay spooky, love ya,