Alexandre Aja's HORNS
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Every now and then I really enjoy seeing a movie like HORNS. It’s out of the ordinary, the story is unusual, the acting is good, and the production values—photography, music, editing—are high.
Can we take this tale of a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend seriously? We’ve seen some of this before: wrongful accusations, small-town insularity that hides darker currents, the accused seeking to clear himself—but there’s a twist.
The young man, in torment from losing his girlfriend-since-childhood, begins to grow devil horns on his head.
At the same time the people he comes into contact with uncontrollably begin speaking out loud very unpleasant truths about themselves and what they really are thinking.
It’s all very messy and becomes increasingly more twisted as the movie careens towards a series of inevitable but unexpected (and weird) climaxes.
It all holds together. There’s a tight focus on character development as we flash forward and backward in time. The action all takes place in a small lumber town where a riverside industrial log-handling complex is the frequent site of conversations and confrontations. (Was the writer channelling David Lynch perchance?) The color red plays a prominent role throughout from the dead girlfriend’s radiant red hair to the main character’s old car to the street signs at night and neon lighting.
Be warned, though. There is nothing subtle about this film. Everything seems done to excess. And watch out for the snakes!
Review copyright © 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald