Horns is based on the novel by Joe Hill. It stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ig Perrish, broken-hearted young man who is believed by everyone in town to have raped and murdered his girlfriend, Merrin Williams. Things get weird when he awakens after a night of serious drinking with horns beginning to grow out of his forehead.
Written by Keith Bunin (In Treatment) and directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes), Horns is a deeply disturbed, bleakly funny and frequently scary little film that gives Radcliffe another quality role.
If you’re familiar with the phrase, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?”, then this movie is right for you. Imagine that you are on the eve of getting married and your best friends treat you to a weekend in Sin City. You & your friends decided to get a suite at one of Vegas’s famous casinos. Then, you do a toast to celebrate your last night as a bachelor. Then the next morning, everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. The hotel room is trashed beyond recognization. You’re sleeping on the floor. One of your friends is missing a tooth. A baby is in the closet. Finally, you found a bengal tiger in your bathroom.
If you’ve seen the ubiquitous trailer and TV spots for The Hangover, you’ve seen several of the movie’s high spots – tiger in the bathroom; am I missing a tooth; is that a baby; Mike Tyson air-drumming to Phil Collins – but, and you can trust me on this, they comprise the tip of the iceberg that is one weird, twisted and even trippy comedy.
We’ve seen all these characters before – the nerdy dentist with the shrewish girlfriend; the inappropriate fat guy; the schoolteacher who’s about as mature as his students and yet happily married; the slightly uptight groom-to-be – but we’ve never seen them from quite this angle before.
The set up is so simple – three guys take a groom-to-be to Vegas for his bachelor party… a night to remember. Then, the three wake up with no memory of the previous night; their hotel suite… sorry, villa… is a shambles, and the groom is missing!
Beyond the clips in the trailer, anything I might want to use as an example of the high FQ [Funny Quotient!!!] of this film might spoil whole chains of events, so I’ll simply tell you that Todd Phillips, director of Old School, has found a terrific script [by John Lucas and Scott Moore] and done right by it.
Bradley Cooper [Phil, the schoolteacher], Ed Helms [Stu, the dentist] and Zack Galifinakis [Alan, the brother-in-law to be – and a bit of a savant] are in the best form of their respective careers. Somehow, they make these stereotypes both sympathetic and hysterically funny. Justin Bartha [Doug, the groom-to-be] is both a solid straight man/victim of circumstance and funny when the script demands it of him.
The extremely good supporting cast includes, among others, Jeffrey Tambor [the very knowing father-in-law-to-be], Sasha Baresse [Tracy, the bride-to-be], Rachel Harris [Melissa, the shrew], Heather Graham [Jade], and Ken Jeong [Mr. Chow]. The gags range from polite to “OMIGAWD!!! Did you see/hear that???” – and the set up is as funny as the rest of the movie. Stay for the credits – there is a montage that tells us exactly what happened in those hours that have, mercifully it turns out, been erased from the guys’ memories…