In this new thriller, Harry Potter’s popular boy wizard grows a pair
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Juno Temple
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Run Length: 119 min
Release: 30 Oct