Ignatius Perrish awakens and the crowd of reporters has already gathered around his house, asking him how it feels to get away with the murder of his girlfriend Merrin. He threads through them alone (not having a friend like Robert Kardashian) and gets into his red AMC Gremlin.
There is a candlelight vigil for Merrin at the treehouse where she was raped and killed. Unknown to them, Ig is watching from above in the treehouse. After the crowd leaves, he descends and takes a whiz on the flowers and candles.
The next morning, he begins growing the titular horns. The skank he spent the night with begins acting crazy. She seems cool with the horns, and also has a strange obsession for donuts, stuffing her face into the box; which might have just been payback for the previous night.
The horns also have an effect on a screeching kid in the doctor’s office. The mother admits she’d like to kick her kid’s ass, or just drive off and leave her there. Then she feels compelled to tell Ig that she is having an affair with her “jigboo” golf pro, and it’s true what they say about black cock. She seems to think it is clever to call it her “5-iron.” While iron is certainly an admirable adjective, I’m not sure her golf pro would appreciate the five reference. 8 or 9-iron would be impressive, but they are ironically known as the “short irons.”
Ig grabs the mother’s hand and has a Johnny Smith moment, seeing flashes from her life, mostly consisting of the golf pro humping her from behind. Even her daughter is affected by the horns, saying she wants to get matches and set mommy’s bed on fire. Good luck finding a dry spot. Even the nurse and doctor get a little crazy.
As he drifts off under the anesthetic, he remembers back to his youth, blowing up cherry bombs. On a dare, he rides a shopping cart down a coal chute, and ends up almost drowning under some logs. And meeting young Mirren. They go to the treehouse, have their first kiss, and in a unfortunate edit, if you happen to reach for a beer at the right time, 13-year-old Mirren seems to get naked. I did have to rewind it to realize their was a 5 year flash-forward that I missed. When Ig wakes up, his doctor is humping the nurse.
This goes on with very revealing embarrassing and uncomfortable truths thanks to the horns. Ig finally wises up and uses his truth-inducing horns to learn what really happened to Mirren. Along the way, he learns he has another talent involving snakes.
Using these new skills leads to some great scenes, great twists & surprises, and a couple of times where I actually gave an audible “whoa!”
Strangely, with a lot going for it, the movie the movie, as a whole, didn’t entirely work for me, but I’m not sure why. Daniel Radcliffe is adequate,but nothing more. The tone is a little too meandering even for a horror/comedy. Definitely a thumbs-up, but less than the sum of its parts. And there are some great parts.
It did make me want to read the book though
- I did read Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghost Stories which was great.
- Heather Graham has freakishly not aged a day in 20 years.