Directed by Alexandre Aja
I usually like movies based on a good book, even if some aspects are different. I realize the events of a book that takes over a month to read are not going to fit into a two hour film. I know that inner thoughts from the main character are not going to be translated well to the screen and little asides that add depth to characters will not work well in a film. Things will be changed to visual aspects of story telling and some parts will be left out. This film is adapted from the book of the same name by Joe Hill.
Iggy Parrish wakes up one day to find his girlfriend, the love of his life, was murdered. He is accused of killing her, but evidence is lost making prosecution near impossible. He then wakes with horns growing out of his head which gives everyone he meets the desire to confess their greatest sins to him. He has gained some powers of the devil, where he can lead people into temptation among other things. It’s kinda’ like the opposite of Bruce Almighty 🙂
This is not a typical horror film. Despite the strange, horror-like occurrences in the story, the real horrors are the true to life aspects. The break-up in the diner was a scenario we’ve probably all lived through. I once had a situation where everyone thought I did something wrong (something went missing in the store I worked at) and no matter what I said, no one believed me. I was later vindicated but too many bad things were said and it had cost me several relationships. There are other aspects to this film that are excruciating but lean more toward drama, the horror of real life or in the classical sense, the comedy, which in early opera and plays meant the painful irony of life. Iggy is laughed at, scoffed at, and wrongly accused in this film. False accusations and ridicule are painful parts of life many of us have probably dealt with in our own existence.
It’s not until the third act that this film (and the book) resembles a true horror story. Ig sharpens his horns (so to speak) and the horrors begins. The ending is dismal but there is also a reconciliation aspect to it. In the book, the final showdown between Iggy and his best friend, Lee, is much bigger. I do think Alexandre Aja delivered a good adaptation of the book. I’m not sure if that translates to a good watch for those who have not read the book. I’m sure some of my enjoyment came from re-living parts of the book I liked so much. It’s not a frightening story. It is a great horror story nevertheless, one that I think can be enjoyed by not only horror fans, but a wider general audience.
A tragic story that keeps you glued to the screen for its mystery and murder aspects and mesmerized by the strange affliction of the main character, Iggy Parrish.
I give it 4.0 sinful confessions out of 5 on the scale of guilty, gluttonous lies for selfish deeds and self preservation needs
Read my book review here: Joe Hill – Horns