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Alexandre Aja's Horns Sends Daniel Radcliffe In A New Direction

Daniel Radcliffe Alexandre Aja Juno Temple Stephen King

As Daniel Radcliffe continues to experiment with movie genres, he has frequently mentioned that he is happiest about his role in the new thriller 'Horns', directed by maverick filmmaker Alexandre Aja. The 36-year-old writer-director has been playing with the horror genre since his 1999 feature debut 'Furia', a post-apocalyptic romp starring a little-known Marion Cotillard.

Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple in Horns
Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple are star-crossed lovers in 'Horns'

After the vicious 'High Tension' (2003) and a pair of remakes ('The Hills Have Eyes' and 'Mirrors'), Aja took a sharp left turn into comedy with the hit 'Piranha 3D'. And now he's combined humour with terror for 'Horns', in which Daniel Radcliffe plays a hapless guy who is suspected of killing his girlfriend (Juno Temple), but discovers that the horns growing out of his head might help him find the real murderer. 

Continue reading: Alexandre Aja's Horns Sends Daniel Radcliffe In A New Direction

Horns Review


With his most stylish film yet, horror specialist Alexandre Aja takes a wildly irreverent approach, packing the screen with rude humour, visual flourishes and spiky characters. But it's assembled in such a rapid-fire way that it's difficult to get a handle on anything, which makes the movie feel like a series of outrageous set-pieces without a coherent plot to hold them together. The likeable actors help bring their characters to life, but the film is too hyperactive to let us engage with any of them.

It's set in a small town near Seattle, where Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) is in shock after his childhood sweetheart Merrin (Juno Temple) was violently murdered. Then he becomes the prime suspect, and the media have a field day. So he hires his lifelong pal Lee (Max Minghella) as his lawyer, partly because he's the only person in town who believes he's innocent. This includes Ig's parents (James Remar and Kathleen Quinlan) and brother (Joe Anderson). As the situation continues to deteriorate, Ig suddenly discovers that horns are growing on his head and no one seems very shocked by this. They also seem unable to lie in his presence, so he decides to use this to find out who really killed Merrin. Along the way he gets a shocking glimpse into what everyone in town really thinks about each other.

The film is an assault on the senses, as Aja packs every moment with outrageous sights and sounds, encouraging the actors to sometimes drift over the line into broad slapstick. He also fills the screen with religious imagery, including churches, crosses, pitchforks and snakes, all hinting that Ig's transformation is connected with his loss of faith. Or maybe it's just part of the film's jokey attitude. But as pieces of the central mystery slowly fall into place, the movie seems to become looser and less coherent. Even when the real villain is identified, there's still at least half an hour of flashbacks and revelations, confrontations and conclusions, none of which are particularly surprising or satisfying.

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Horns - Alternative Trailer

Following the mysterious death of his girlfriend, Merrin Williams (Juno Temple), Ig Perrish (Daniel Redcliffe) wakes up from with a hangover and no recollection of the night before. When horns begin to steadily grow out of his head, and the local people begin to believe that Perrish is guilty of raping and murdering Williams, Perrish decides that the time has come to find his girlfriend's killer, once and for all - so that she may finally rest in peace, and he can save both his name and his soul from eternal damnation. 

Continue: Horns - Alternative Trailer

Horns - International Trailer

Following the vicious rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin Williams, Ig Perrish goes on a grief-ridden binge and awakens the next morning with the mother of all hangovers. He also discovers two horn like growths pushing through his temples which appear to be growing larger. He visits a friend and shows her his new appendages, but to his surprise she seems untroubled by the unusual deformity - as do the reporters that Ig is struggling to shake off since being acquitted of Merrin's murder. More unusual still, he also finds that everyone is sharing their darkest secrets and desires with him, including his doctor who is also unfazed by his appearance. As he becomes used to the horns, Ig also discovers he has another ability - he has the power to control the actions of nearly everyone he comes into contact with.

Continue: Horns - International Trailer

Horns Trailer

Ig Perrish wakes up after a particularly drunken night with a very sore head - though, as it turns out, this is no ordinary hangover. He finds that he is somehow growing horns from his tempes, following the brutal murder of his girlfriend. Having been the prime suspect in the case, the media are swamping him everyday since he was absolved, and it seems no-one actually believes he was really innocent. Checking out his new growths, he visits one of the few friends he still has but is amazed to see that she neither looks surprised or troubled by them. As the day goes on, he visits a doctor, but soon discovers that everyone appears to be being painfully honest with him about their private thoughts - and not only that, but he seems to have to power to control their actions too.

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Daniel Radcliffe Touts 'Horns' At Comic-Con 2014

Daniel Radcliffe Alexandre Aja

Daniel Radcliffe was the star attraction at Comic-Con International 2014 on Friday (July 25, 2014), touting his new dramedy 'Horns' - an adaption of the Joe Hill novel by the supremely talented Alexandre Aja


Radcliffe, who turned 25 this week, plays Ig - a man falsely accused of killing his girlfriend who then begins growing a set of horns that have a mysterious dishibiting effect on those around him. 

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38th Toronto International Film Festival

Alexandre Aja - 38th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Horns' - Premiere - Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Saturday 7th September 2013

Juno Temple and Alexandre Aja

Maniac Review


Aside from being an exercise in point-of-view cinema, it's not clear why French filmmaker Khalfoun (P2) bothered to remake the notorious 1980 slasher horror. This version certainly doesn't include any of the subtext that made 80s horror so intriguing. Instead, it strings together a thin plotline as an excuse for extremely grisly violence and whizzy camerawork. That's enough to hold our interest, but it never gets under the skin.

It's set on the side-streets of Los Angeles, where Frank (Wood) lives in the family mannequin shop haunted by memories of his trashy mother (Olivo). A true psychopath, Frank prowls the streets at night attacking women and scalping them to create a sinister mannequin tableau back home. When he meets the French photographer Anna (Arnezeder), he decides to try and live a normal life. She is intrigued by his shop, and wants the mannequins for her gallery exhibition. But how long will it be before Frank snaps?

Filmed completely through Frank's eyes, we only get glimpses of Wood in mirrors and in a couple of eerie out-of-body shots along the way. But Khalfoun stirs in fantasy sequences, memories and delusions as well, trying to get us into the mind of this mild-mannered killer. Much of this is bravura filmmaking, with long takes and complicated camera angles combining with above-average make-up effects. With all of the brutality aimed at women, the film definitely recaptures the misogynistic tone of those 1980s video-nasties.

Continue reading: Maniac Review

Piranha 3D Review

A blast of black humour, much of it referring to other films, makes this riotously violent remake rather a lot of fun. And apart from the gleefully grisly 3D effects, the casting alone is a stroke of genius.

Arizona's Lake Victoria is being invaded by virtually naked young people during spring break, but teen Jake (McQueen) has to babysit his young siblings (Brooklynn Proulx and Sage Ryan) because his mother Julie (Shue) is especially busy as the town sheriff. As a sleazy filmmaker (O'Connell) hires Jake to show him the lake, Julie is investigating evidence that an underwater rift has released a school of voracious prehistoric piranhas. So not only must she get all of these drunken revellers out of the water, but she needs to make sure her kids are safe.

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Mirrors Review

Writer-director Alexandre Aja, along with his co-writer Gregory Levasseur, had been cruising along, showing promise within the horror genre, until (cue overwrought score) the mirrors got hold of him. Their film Mirrors is another remake of an Asian horror movie imbuing everyday objects with ghostly menace. In this case, the objects are, yes, mirrors -- specifically (but not limited to) the mirrors in a run-down New York department store. Of course, jump-scares involving sudden appearances in mirrors have been a cheap horror tactic for years, so this is a little like making a horror movie about murderous loud noises.

Ben (Kiefer Sutherland) is a newly-hired night security guard at that department store, and during his patrols he's been seeing disturbing stuff in the mirrors -- charred bodies, horrible wounds, people screaming for help. This seems like an excellent time to slack a bit at work and hang back in his security trailer, but Ben persists with an investigation.

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P2 Review

Someone -- either screenwriters Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur or director Franck Khalfoun -- is very, very proud of the name of their new movie. At every possible opportunity, they make a point to linger on the title when it appears on screen. It's like product placement for a movie within the movie itself. Even more inexplicable, the name is... P2. Because it strikes such fear in the heart?

It's unfortunately not the only baffling part: Who decided that a horrorfest set in an underground parking garage needed to be made, and what on earth possessed Wes Bentley to decide he needed to be in it? The list of questions is longer than the movie, so it's best to start at the beginning.

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The Hills Have Eyes (2006) Review

The Hills Have Eyes is a truly American horror film. Like Manifest Destiny gone horribly awry, the film reflects our obsession with the danger of the West: Its forbidden, desolate landscapes, the rugged masochism it inspires. For Americans, the West is a place where anything can and does happen. And in The Hills Have Eyes our nastiest nightmares are bloodily realized.

Wes Craven's brutal 1977 micro-budgeted The Hills Have Eyes was a post-hippie scream of horror, both at the collapse of the youth-led revolution and the dreadfulness of the Vietnam War. Craven turned his eye to home, to the desolate stretches of vast American desert where he could posit a family of bloodthirsty mutants preying on those who stumble onto their fallout abode, and it could almost (almost) seem plausible. With a world of misery at large, how strange would it be to find murderous maniacs in our own backyard? Sure, the original film suffers from some notably outré moments and jagged pacing, but Craven succeeded in bringing a grimly gleeful sense of humor to what was essentially a Texas Chainsaw Massacre riff.

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High Tension Review

Though he claims it was inspired by the classic '70s slasher classics of his youth, Alexandre Aja's High Tension is unfortunately as indebted to gimmicky pseudo-horror flicks like The Sixth Sense and Identity than Last House on the Left. A serial killer story undone by a lack of terror and a vicious view of homosexuality, Aja's film borrows liberally from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - including its narrative about a blond woman attempting to escape from a deadly fiend who, in the final scene, stalks his victim in the woods with a buzz saw - while failing to properly capture the sheer madness (or underlying socio-economic anxiety) that made Tobe Hooper's genre masterpiece pulsate. And without the scares necessary to sustain its bloody cat-and-mouse tale, this derivative, mildly nerve-racking thriller - shot in French but partially dubbed in English for its North American release - finds itself woefully unable to live up to its boastful title.

Marie (Cécile De France), a closet lesbian with short hair and a sculpted physique, reluctantly goes to stay with the family of her college pal Alex (Maïwenn) in their remote country home, a backwoods abode with few ties to civilization and no neighbors in sight. Alex adores her parents' new place, but the friends' first night in rural seclusion is rudely interrupted by the appearance of a hulking brute (Philippe Nahon, from Gasper Noe's I Stand Alone) who hogties and kidnaps Alex after slaughtering her kin (including her young brother, who's unceremoniously gunned down off-screen). Marie, a witness to the throat-cutting of Alex's mother from a bedroom closet, manages to conceal her presence from the intruder, and - after managing to surreptitiously hitch a ride in his blood-stained van - resolves to rescue her abducted pal and exact eye-for-an-eye revenge against the mysterious murderer.

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