The numbers suggest this was a massive financial flop, but, but it’s based on a massively successful novel. The book is written by Stephen King’s son, no less. It’s got 1,400 reviews on Amazon, mostly positive. The critics did hint at tonal shifts, genre jumping, that sort of thing.
When I watched the beginning I thought it was a black comedy, a devious tour de force of twisted observations. But then it changed, and changed again. It’s hard to have a comedy about a brutal rape and murder of the lead’s lover.
Some obvious, flatulent dialogue bothered me, but I expect that. Harry Potter maybe didn’t bring enough gravitas either. Juno Temple seemed wrong for the role as well. She’s a great actress, gorgeous, but Juno’s a psycho wildcat, not a good girl. Just check her, like, entire career.The Horns mystery barrels awkwardly to a revenge narrative, of course. Unless you’re doing The Count of Monte Cristo I tend to despise revenge narratives. They’re so one-note, so on the nose, so obvious. And they pander to the audience’s base, mindless instincts. Basically, ick. I won’t even watch Taken 1 through infinity. I have no desire to sit through that vengeance propaganda.
But Horns wasn’t as obvious and predictable as all that. It was a bit weird. It had funny moments where characters lose their inhibitions and start ranting their devious hidden thoughts. They act them out too. There was blatant fucking and swearing, and so the Multiplex prude set (and managers) would have given it second thoughts.
Horns is a s half-strange, half ordinary, somewhat hardcore assault. I’m not sure it’s comparable to anything else, and so you’ll just have to decide for yourself. Audiences were split right down the middle (again), at 50%. Unfortunately, they were so few in number that Hollywood will think thrice before ever green lighting something like this again.