Friday, October 10, 2014

"Horns" by Joe Hill (Movie + Book Review)

Genre: Thriller/ Paranormal
Publication: January 1, 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: Kindle
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars
Links: GoodreadsAmazon,Book DepoFacebook Movie Page

From Goodreads: At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . . 

My Thoughts: This is my first Joe Hill novel, but it certainly will not be my last. The guy has talent. What I loved about Horns was that it actually made you think and connect the dots with all it's symbolism and theological debates, while at the same time keeping you entertained. I could totally see myself sitting in one of my old Lit classes picking apart this book with the professor.

I'll admit, I was a little thrown when I started it. I'm not a HUGE Stephen King fan, but I do enjoy his works that I've read (Carrie, Pet Sematary, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, etc). So naturally, I expected something spooky and freaky from his son, Joe Hill. He didn't really deliver on the horror part. At least, not in the obvious way. While this book is full of "sin" and "evil", it was more... natural. No creeptastic shivers, running to jump in the bed from keeping your feet away from under it. Instead, we get a heavy dose of wonderment at how evil and villainous we as human beings actually are.

I could honestly go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book with all it's coming of age, mystery, and the age old question of good vs. evil, but I think you get my point. Ig Perrish is a fascinating anti-hero, and Joe Hill is a superb writer that will keep you entranced in his story until you're turning the very last page.

My Rating: 

Movie Review: 

As it usually goes, the book was by far better than the movie. BUT, the movie still had it's redeeming qualities:

For one, the cast was an amazing choice. Daniel Radcliffe was Ig Perrish. And I am not just saying that because I fangirl over him superhard. He just did a phenomenal job of playing the tortured, anti-hero.. I also really enjoyed Joe Anderson as Terry. In the book, I had a hard time imagining who they would choose to play him. I couldn't think of anyone well known that could pull off that swaggering, selfish, charm. But when I found out Joe was in it, I knew right away he would play Ig's older, more successful brother. The only character I wasn't sold on was Max Minghella as Lee. He was just too flat and there wasn't enough back story for the guy. 

Also, the soundtrack was SO EPIC. David Bowie, Pixies, and Marilyn Manson's cover of Personal Jesus. I mean, come on. You can't top that. I haven't bought a CD in years, but I will definitely be purchasing this one. Whoever did the music for this movie should have gotten paid more because they really set the mood in each scene. 

My problem with the film was really only the ending. It was rushed, cheesed, and just overall WTF-ness. You spend almost two hours watching this good movie, and then you're left hanging with some sillyness. If it had been done right, I would have loved it just as much as the novel.

Overall, I would completely recommend watching the movie... but probably not paying $20 + to go see it in theaters.

1 comment

  1. Interesting. I've read a couple of his books, and they are pretty creepy and King-ish. I love his writing though, and really enjoyed an audiobook of his -- Heart Shaped Box. So I have the audio of Horns and hope to get to it ...someday. Thanks for the great review. Didn't even know there was a movie!


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