Horns by Joe Hill: Book vs Movie #Blogtober #Horror #Books #Bookblogger #Horror

Every morning, I get a little more excited for Halloween as it’s fast approaching.As such, my posts will be decidedly more grim as we get closer to the big night, but you know, in a good way lol! 

Which brings me to today’s post. I recently read Horns by Joe Hill, and loved it so much I finally forced myself to watch the film adaptation.

The Book

y648Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

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.

The Movie

51578960_1300x1733Director: Alexandre Aja

Writers: Keith Bunin (screenplay), Joe Hill

Stars: Daniel RadcliffeJuno Temple, and Max Minghella

 In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s murder (of which nearly the whole town judges him guilty), Ig Parrish finds horns growing out of his head. To his disgust, people now reveal their innermost secrets before the presence of these horns. He decides to use their special influence (and a growing number of snake followers) to find the real killer, leading to the discovery of both the real killer and the reason why his girlfriend broke up with him.

Book vs Movie

First, let’s talk about the book and all its glory.

Seriously, it’s brilliant. Amazing writing, rich and complicated characters, and plenty of horror. But maybe not the horror you would expect. This kind of horror is far more sinister as it involves the human condition, and the darkness that people are capable of.

“Ig” is a fascinating character who questions everything he once believed in, particularly God and what his religion means in the wake of the brutal murder of the love of his life. To scrape it down to the bone, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, or to put it another way, why have any faith at all when it doesn’t keep you safe? What’s the point? It’s far more complex than that but that’s my takeaway from it.

I really enjoyed this story. The pace toward the middle was a bit slow but overall, it was gripping, entertaining and, thought-provoking in every way. Definitely a 5 star read for me.


Now the movie on the other hand, is a different story (pun intended). I didn’t hate it, but I’m not kicking myself for having not seen it sooner.

When it was released, I was very skeptical. I don’t deny Daniel Radcliffe’s talent as an actor, but much like Elija Wood in LOTR, he will always be trapped in his Harry Potter role for me. Also, they both have the same man-child look that makes it really difficult to see him in other roles.

That said, Radcliffe’s portrayal of Ig was pretty good. Probably the best thing about the movie. Physically, he meets the Iggy requirements, and it was interesting to see him shed his wizard’s robes for something with teeth, or horns as it were.

The rest of the film just didn’t work for me. It was too condensed, missing the depth that the book has and therefore coming up short. Also, aside from Radcliffe’s Ig, the rest of the characters were awful. Physically, Juno made a beautiful Merrin, but lacked her fire and intelligence. She also has very little dialogue for someone who plays an integral role in the story. Don’t even get me started on Lee! Terrible casting!

Perhaps if I had seen the movie first, I would have liked it but if I’m being honest, even then I don’t think I would have. There was just too much book for the big screen in my opinion.

The movie rates a C- for me. Stick to the book!

I would love to hear your opinion! Let’s chat!


11 thoughts on “Horns by Joe Hill: Book vs Movie #Blogtober #Horror #Books #Bookblogger #Horror

  1. I was very skeptical about the movie because of Radcliffe, and I literally agree word to word to what you said about him and Wood. xD So I never watched it, and I don’t think I will, but I made the mistake of avoiding the book because of how I felt about the movie. Stupid! You’ve totally changed my mind, plus I’m currently reading Hill’s The Heart Shaped Box, and I can see he’s a good writer. Great review and comparison! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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