Earlier today, Radius/TWC brought their fall release HORNS to Hall H, the first time the company has been represented at Comic-Con. Attending the panel were star Daniel Radcliffe (his first Comic-Con, btw), director Alexandre Aja and Joe Hill, the man whose book inspired the movie. (Mr. Hill also happens to be Stephen King's son, in case you didn't know.)
HORNS is an unusual story, and it has been made into an unusual film. Part horror tale, part tragedy, part dark comedy, it tells the tale of Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe), a young man who is a pariah in his own town because he's been accused of raping and murdering his ex-girlfriend. One night, Ig has the bender of a lifetime, but what he wakes up with the next morning is way more than a hangover: he finds that he's sprouting devil horns from his head. As if that's not enough, the horns have a seemingly strange effect on the people around him; everyone appears to be compelled to confess their worst sins to him, as well as allow their most primal urges to take overů Yeah, not easy material to get across to a mass audience.
Here are the highlights from the panel:
- The first U.S. trailer for the film was shown, basically laying out the film's strange concept and highlighting Radcliffe's performance. (You can watch it below.) It seemed to go over fairly well with the Hall H crowd, always a good sign for a film that isn't an easy sell.
- The one clip from the film shown showed off the Radcliffe character's strange powers: a bevy of news reporters who always hound him follow him to a parking lot, asking for a statement regarding the suspicion of murder that surrounds him. He tells them that if they beat the hell out of each other, he'll give an exclusive interview to the winner. Immediately a brawl breaks out, set to to Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus"; reporters choke and punch each other as Radcliffe laughs. He then enters a bar, where almost immediately the bartender admits he's going to burn the place down and collect the insurance money - which he promptly goes about doing. (Hill mentioned before the clip that the clip was "cleaned up a bit" for the Comic-Con crowd.)
- The entire Hall H audience sang "Happy Birthday" to Radcliffe, as he just turned 25-years-old a few days ago. He seemed genuinely touched.
- Asked what attracted him to the material, Radcliffe said it was the script, calling it "original and dark." He also likes films that defy genre, and that was a big selling point for him.
- Hill admitted he never thought HORNS would be made into a film, and didn't think they'd attract a name such as Radcliffe's.
- Aja said Radcliffe's people came to him about the film, before THE WOMAN IN BLACK came out. According to Aja, he didn't even realize Radcliffe had the acting skills to pull off the role (because he had only really seen him in the HARRY POTTER films), but he knew immediately that Radcliffe was "Ig Perrish."
- Radcliffe said the horns themselves were very easy to put on, only about twenty minutes of work, and he gave all the credit to the make-up guys. He said there's something empowering about standing around looking like a devil.
- Joe Hill pretty much owns the room. He calls the film a "tragi-come-horror-edy". He recalls a time when films used to play around in different genres; now you see a horror movie and all it is is scary, an action movie is just an action movie, etc. He likes films that straddle multiple genres at once, which is what HORNS does. He also mentions something about "Joss Whedon's buttsweat". Don't ask.
- Radcliffe doesn't drive, but he learned how to for this film. His character drives an AMC Gremlin (which is routinely called one of the worst cars ever).
- Radcliffe would routinely listen to Metallica and Megadeth in order to get into the mood.
- Radcliffe enjoyed the many sequences where he had snakes coiled around. "If you've never had a 6-foot python around you, I recommend the experience."
- Radcliffe said the toughest scene to film was an emotional breaking-up sequence between he and Juno Temple; it took two days to film.
- Radcliffe says he started getting worried during his HARRY POTTER years that his best years might have been behind him; when he did EQUUS on stage, it allowed him to challenge himself and gave him confidence to move forward with his career.
Watch the new trailer below. HORNS comes out this Halloween.