For today’s post I would like to discuss the 2010 Joe Hill novel Horns, and the 2013 film based upon it. The novel and film tell the story of Ig Perrish, who one day wakes up to find that he had begun to grow horns. Now this man already had much anguish going on in his life. A year earlier his long time girlfriend had been brutally murdered in the forest, and he was still being accused of being her murderer.
When he gets these horns he begins to hear people’s worst thoughts. They feel a need to tell him the deepest darkest things that are going on in their heads! Ig realized that he could use the horns and their powers to exonerate himself from the murder accusations against him. He also wants to find Merrin’s killer in order to gain revenge for the woman he loved!
This is a truly powerful tale of love lost, and of the redemptive power of the truth. The story pulls much in way of biblical allegory and references to Paradise Lost. This makes a lot of sense in a book and film where the story is about a young man growing horns! The promotional material for the film even contained taglines featuring phrasing about confronting your inner demons. Confronting inner demons is a main plot point in the story. Ig can literally hear people talking about their innermost demonic thoughts. He also can get glimpses of the most heinous memories people have by touching them, all thanks to the power of his horns!
The original novel is one that I have read twice, most recently this past fall. I love Joe Hill’s writing style, and did not know he was Stephen King’s son until after I first read his book Heart Shaped Box. I had to read that book because I am a fan of Nirvana, and my favorite album of theirs is In Utero, which contains a song of the same title. Since I throughly enjoyed Heart Shaped Box I read Horns. I find Horns to be a better novel, and this is probably in part because of the dark love story at its core. I am, after all, a hopeless romantic!
My fiancé, Andrew, and I just recently watched the film adaptation of Horns. I had never seen it, but since I love the book, I really wanted to. Andrew was not familiar with the novel, but took my suggestion that he would like the film (if it was as good as the book). I found the film to be a well done, and faithful adaption! Andrew and I were both moved by the power of this film! The cast was exceptional, especially Daniel Radcliffe as Ig, and Juno Temple as Merrin!
It is not often that I find a film adaptation of a novel to be so well done. I am very happy to have finally watched the film, having loved the book for years! I cannot more highly recommend this film to anyone who loves horror, and gothic romances! I do not want to reveal the identity of the killer, as I believe that would take something away from reading the book and viewing the film. What I will say is that Ig is not the killer, and he and Merrin had a truly beautiful and romantic relationship! The film ending in a heavenly sequence lends to the romance, and reminds me of Wuthering Heights (Cathy and Heathcliff finally get to be together in death)!
I hope you enjoyed reading my opinions on the novel and film Horns. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a poster from the film. I found the image on lingkarmadiun.pikiran-rakyat.com.
- Horns by Joe Hill
- Horns (2013)
- Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill