Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Michael Adamthwaite, James Remar, Kathleen Quinn, Heather Graham
Ig (Radcliffe) was recently in love until his girlfriend (Temple) was found murdered. With being the prime suspect, practically everyone believes that he’s guilty and is made a pariah by the town. As the accusations become too much for him to bear, he sprouts horns and finds that he’s able to persuade people to give into their temptations, and through flashbacks the truth of that night is revealed.
This is a pretty interesting take on the mythology of Christianity as Ig becomes the devil on earth, but he brings out the evil in others rather than being evil himself, and the chaos he sows is borne from the people’s own temptations and desires. Radcliffe gives an interesting portrayal of a tortured soul who isn’t allowed to mourn properly because he keeps being accused of the crime. The flashbacks help flesh out Temple’s character, but I always got the feeling she was more of a plot device than a character, and she’s always spoken about as being ‘perfect’ and ‘nice’, but it’s never shown that much, so she doesn’t feel like a character in her own right, which is a shame.
I did like how Ig goes around town and tries to use his new powers to try and find out the truth. The mystery was interesting and kept me intrigued as there was enough doubt sown that I kept going back and forth about what was going on. It was funny in places as well, and the special effects were striking.
Overall I think it’s an entertaining film but it’s a pity that Merida is such a blank slate of a character. There’s also not really an explanation given why Ig sprouts these horns, and you pretty much just have to suspend your disbelief and go with it. That might be a problem for some people. The ending felt far too sentimental and sappy as well, but I guess it fits the story. It’s decent though, and I felt involved for the duration of the film.