Horns (2013)

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Released 18-Mar-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama/Horror Featurette-Horns - Behind the Scenes (18:47)
Trailer-x 3 for other Roadshow releases
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 119:38
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Alexandre Aja
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Daniel Radcliffe
Juno Temple
Max Minghella
Joe Anderson
Kelli Garner
David Morse


Case ?
RPI ? Music Robin Coudert


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Iggy (Daniel Radcliffe) is in living hell. His girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple), who Iggy grew up with, loved madly and wanted to marry, has been found brutally raped and murdered and everyone in the small logging community where he lives, including the citizens, the media, the police and his own family, believes Iggy is guilty. Although Iggy maintains that he is innocent there are protesters and a media circus outside his home and the newspapers are calling him a devil. About the only people who do not believe Iggy is a murderer are his childhood friends Lee (Max Minghella), who is now his lawyer, and Glenna (Kelli Garner), who could be biased as she loves Iggy. His older brother Terry (Joe Anderson) is also supportive.

     Then one morning after a night getting drunk Iggy wakes up with horns growing from his forehead and it seems that he may indeed be the devil! Much to Iggy’s initial confusion, in conjunction with the horns almost everyone starts to confess to Iggy their innermost secrets, thoughts and sins. People also without inhibition will do exactly what Iggy instructs them to do. Using his newfound powers Iggy decides to find out just what happened on the night Merrin was murdered and to clear his name, a quest that reveals some disturbing truths.

     Horns is based upon a book of the same name by Joe Hill (who is Stephen King’s son) and is directed by Alexandre Aja, who has a CV that includes the supernatural thrillers The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and Mirrors (2008). Horns has supernatural elements but these are never explained and the film is essentially a love story and a mystery that is quirky, sad, artistic and has a perverse sense of humour.

     The premise that people can only tell the truth certainly has comedic possibilities, as shown by such as Liar Liar (1997), and Horns certainly has its fun with randy couples, the real thoughts of parents, gay policemen, a bar owner with a plan, the media and a waitress who just wants to be a celebrity, yet at times this comedic tone sits uncomfortably with the solving of a brutal rape and murder. Aja is also not adverse to throwing in some unusual camera angles and a voiceover narration by Iggy that can be distracting.

     Horns features wonderful widescreen shots of the forests and the gritty logging town on the lake that are quite breathtaking in their beauty, a flashback structure that gradually reveals more about the night of the murder and compelling acting from Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple and David Morse as Merrin’s grieving father. Indeed, for much of its running time Horns is an intriguing film, a different type of supernatural thriller, a sweet and sad love story and a mystery that, to my mind, is only let down somewhat by the final reel.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Horns is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, close to the 2.35:1 original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The print is sharp and detailed although this is a dark film with many sequences taking place at night. The colour palate is thus muted, with the dark greens of the forest and the greys of the winter sky and lake dominating. When brighter colours do appear they are glossy but natural, skin tones are good and brightness and contrast is consistent, except where flashback sequences are lighter.

     I did not notice any marks or artefacts during the film. I would say that the first part of the end titles, with squiggly red text against a mottled background of trees, were almost impossible to read, but this is the fault of the title design, not the authoring. However, towards the end of the titles they did shimmer.

     The layer chance at 75:46 created a slight pause during a scene change.

    English descriptive captions for the hearing impaired are available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps. There is also an English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio descriptive track for the vision impaired at 256 Kbps utilising a female voice.

     This film is a mystery / supernatural thriller / love story with some action so it did not require an expansive audio. The dialogue was clear and easy to hear and the surrounds and rears are used for weather effects, such as the rain and thunder, music, voices and loud “supernatural” effects. They are especially loud and active during a hallucinatory sequence and the fight. There are also some directional effects, such as cars passing. The sub-woofer gave appropriate support to the supernatural effects, the hallucination, the fight, crackers, fire and music.

    Robin Coudert is credited as the main composer and the score is appropriate and effective. The film also integrates into the plot, to good effect, Heroes by David Bowie & Brian Eno as well as other songs by indie groups including The Flaming Lips and The Dead Weather.

     Lip synchronisation fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers (6:30)

     Trailers for St. Vincent, The Taking of Deborah Logan and Comet play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

Horns - Behind the Scenes (18:47)

     This includes some film clips, behind the scenes footage and interviews with author Joe Hill, director Alexandre Aja, producers Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland, Cathy Schulman, make-up effects supervisor Mike McCarthy and cast Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella and Kelli Garner. Topics include the plot, the film’s genre, the cast, adapting the novel, the director, the make-up horns and working with snakes. Fairly superficial but worth a look once.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US Region A Blu-ray release of Horns only has the same making of we have on our DVD, so I doubt the Region 1 US DVD would have anything extra. Buy local.

Summary

     I really did not know what to expect from Horns but enjoyed its quirkiness, its spectacular locations and the all-out acting of Daniel Radcliffe who with The Woman in Black (2012) and this film is moving very successfully away from his Harry Potter persona. Horns is a compelling, off-kilter, somewhat unusual love story / mystery / supernatural / thriller that is well worth a look.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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