Daniel Radcliffe gets horny in Horns

In this new thriller, Harry Potter’s popular boy wizard grows a pair

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When photos of Daniel Radcliffe with horns first came out, I thought, “He may have been the Boy Who Lived, but his career certainly didn’t.”

He stars in Horns as Ignatius Perrish, a young man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. Ostracised by his community, he wakes up one day with ram-like horns sprouting from his head.

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But unlike popular (and my) belief, Horns is not just some trashy film that mockingly casts Radcliffe as a devil figure who has fallen from grace. Here’s why.

King of Horror

This movie is based on the gothic cult novel Horns, written by award-winning writer Joe Hill. Now, that may not mean anything to us – not yet. Joe Hill is, in fact, the pen name of Joseph Hillstrom King. That’s right – the book Horns is written by the son of Stephen King, the father of horror stories.

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Ig’s girlfriend, Merrin, is found dead in a ditch

It seems like talent runs in this family. Similar to his father’s penchant for sardonic dark comedy, Hill employs “dark humor to expose a different kind of horror… (that of) our modern addictions and contradictions,” said the movie’s director Alexandre Aja in his Director’s Statement.

This tidbit of information casts Horns’s movie adaptation in a different light, and now we’re expecting more instead of less from it.

Beyond Hogwarts

Radcliffe’s role as Ignatius shows us the actor’s talents beyond casting spells out of a wand.

Ignatius is a tough character to portray: Radcliffe must convey the conflicting sides of goodness and temptation warring within him, while maintaining a certain manipulative charm.

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For director Alexandre Aja, Radcliffe was “an obvious choice” for the part, and not just because the actor is a big fan of the original novel.

“Ig’s character was an iconic role to play with an extreme emotional arc,” said Aja. “(It) gave Daniel and opportunity to spotlight a side few had seen from him.”

We agree – it seems that Horns will continue to pull Radcliffe out of his wizard typecast from the Harry Potter saga.

Radcliffe’s Hits and Misses

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But how successful can the actor get outside of his magical Harry Potter mold?

Unlike his fellow wizard actors Emma Watson and Robert Pattinson – who play Harry Potter’s classmates Hermione Granger and Cedric Diggory – Radcliffe’s other movies have only gained critical but not commercial success.

We still think Horns is worth a go, if only to see what else Radcliffe is capable of besides wand fights. We have the utmost confidence in his talented acting, so even if Horns turns out to be a bust, we won’t point fingers at He Who Must Not Be Blamed.

Where are our favourite Harry Potter stars now? Catch up with them here!

Horns [M18]

Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Juno Temple
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Run Length: 119 min
Release: 30 Oct

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