‘Are you horny?’ No one ever asked Daniel Radcliffe questions like that when he was Harry Potter. This patchy supernatural black comedy is his latest and least successful shot at putting distance between himself and the boy wizard. Adapted from a novel by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), Radcliffe plays eccentrically-named Ig, prime suspect for the murder of his girlfriend in the woods outside their sleepy American logging town. If this wasn’t bad enough, Ig wakes up one morning with little devil’s horns growing out of his forehead. When he takes his protuberances to his GP to chisel off, the doctor instead blurts out that he’s obsessed with his teenage daughter’s hot best friend.
The horns, it turns out, have a freaky truth-telling power that compels people to confess their deepest, darkest secrets. Naturally, Ig decides to exploit them to discover who really killed his girlfriend. There are some brilliantly twisted scenes, best of all when newly-horned Ig visits his supportive hippie parents, who confide that they secretly can’t stand him: ‘I don’t know why you turned out like this. With your brother it was easier. I never know what to say to you.’
But flashbacks to Ig’s relationship with his girlfriend Marrin (Juno Temple) are naff. In the end ‘Horns’ is weird without being interesting. And he might not want to hear it, but Radcliffe felt more suited to playing the bruisingly sweet, idealistic beat poet Allen Ginsberg in ‘Kill Your Darlings’. He looks self-conscious here doing tortured and whiskey-guzzling.