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HORNY FOR SNAKES


Daniel Radcliffe simply can’t escape this snake fetish in film.

First, the parseltongued protagonist pontificated his prepubescent proclamations in the Chamber of Secrets, then he harassed half-witted humans with hellish horns of herpetological hegemony in Horns. It is funny to watch the progression of an actor’s career. Radcliffe matured in the role of Harry Potter, only to come out the other side with an unnatural inkling for horror.

The Woman in Black is a humbly respected gothic horror film for which Radcliffe received little grief from the professionally critical crowd, and in the horror genre we call that a compliment. Radcliffe proceeded down this path of scares with the indie/dark comedy/horror/drama/mystery film Horns. Beginning as something strange, Horns only gets more confused about its identity as the film rolls on. Radcliffe embraces this jumbled synopsis as it transcends genres at the whim of the winds. He seems to adapt to the changing tide as good as any beach-laden crab searching for scraps. Because of this, the film holds on to its audience.

Horns lacks the critical prestige and admiration of The Babadook and is quiet on the front of blockbuster scares, but it delivers on a level rarely seen. And this of course is the level of “what level is this movie on?”. Because of its genre-bending, Horns lacks what most drama films use as award fodder; pace. But a jumbled storyboard does not a jumbled story make in this film. It is a good time, one best suited with a bowl of popcorn and your favorite beverage.

- Sickle

© 2020 Sickle and Efrit | Dalton Vanhooser & Kyle Hagan