Date: 10th September 2013
Following the premiere of 'Horns,' the offbeat horror movie which gives Daniel Radcliffe his latest leading role, his director Alexandre Aja and co-star Juno Temple have been speaking about working on the movie with the artist formerly known as Harry Potter.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the director and actress at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie - adapted from a novel by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King - has been met with an at-best mixed response.
'Horns' centres on Radcliffe's character Ig, who - following the brutal murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Temple, who says she features entirely "as a memory") - finds horns mysteriously growing on his forehead; and as if that alone wasn't bizarre enough, these new appendages make him able to read minds.
Alexandre Aja spoke about how he discovered the novel whilst finishing work on his last film, 'Piranha 3D' in 2009: "I couldn't believe what I was reading. I was turning pages, and it was like, 'how is this possible? I was cracking up laughing two pages ago, and now I'm emotional.' Then it was scary, and back to laughing, and back to emotional. I had to make this movie."
The unconventional structure and mix of genre elements were also attractive to Juno Temple, who praised the "eclectic script… filled with so many feelings." Hill's novel was adapted for the screen by Keith Bunin, writer of TV series 'In Treatment.'
However, it seems this attempt to balance contrasting elements has not entirely worked in the eyes of some reviewers. Twitch complain that 'Horns' "feels sloppy, rushed and underdeveloped", whilst IndieWire call it "devilishly uneven… initially shows potentially (sic) for stirring up the filmographies of both its director and star, but eventually turns into something of a side step for both of them."
Specialist horror site Bloody Disgusting were far more enamoured with the movie, however, hailing it as "an audacious, wonderfully twisted romantic horror fantasy."
Most reviews seem to agree that the highlight of 'Horns' is Radcliffe playing against type (not for the first time this year, given his roles in indie rom-com 'The F Word' and as Allen Ginsberg in the Beat Poets biopic 'Kill Your Darlings'). Temple, too, has nothing but good things to say about her esteemed co-star, and it would seem the two of them took a very in-depth approach to building a character bond onscreen.
"He's such a giving actor, it's insane - and how open he was as a person with me too. Because we had to try and cram fifteen years of life into about two weeks … really explaining to each other who we were as human beings, and trying to develop this friendship because that's also the basis of Merrin and Ig, too; they're not just lovers, they're each other's everything."
Source: Press Release
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