Horns, film review: Daniel Radcliffe shows his versatility in this morbid, violent film

(15) Alexandre Aja, 120 mins Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Heather Graham
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The Independent Culture

Alexandre Aja's sprawling, wildly uneven film suffers from its continual shifts in storytelling style. It's at its best as a Twin Peaks-style mystery with supernatural elements.

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Ig Perrish, a clean-cut young man accused of the rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). He has horns growing on his head that both hint at what might be his diabolic nature and act as a catalyst, provoking those around him to reveal their darkest desires.

Bawdy comedy sits uncomfortably alongside some very morbid and violent elements. The Stand by Me-style flashbacks to pivotal moments in the kids' childhoods are very well done. Aja creates a sense of mounting paranoia and tension but continually risks undercutting his own story with the lapses into facetiousness.

At least the film allows Radcliffe , post-Harry Potter, a chance to show his versatility. He gives a strong performance in a role that calls for him to switch from bereaved lover to pantomime-like clown, from detective to fiery avenger.

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