Joe Hill

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Ignatius Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) loved Merrin Williams (Juno Temple). Well, that or he killed her. She was found dead at the base of the tree fort they used since they were kids, and all of the circumstantial evidence points in Ig’s direction. The townspeople picket and heckle his home, the local TV reporters harass him for a self-incriminating scoop and Merrin’s dad publicly asks for his execution. Hell, not even Ig’s own parents are all that convinced of his innocence. But when he wakes up one morning with horns growing from his forehead Ig discovers the devilish deformity comes packed with a useful side effect. People are seemingly compelled to confess their darkest (or dark-ish anyway) thoughts and ask his permission to act upon them. With no other options, he sets out in search of the truth as he wades through a town filled with lies, sexual secrets and truly shitty people. Horns, based on Joe Hill‘s best-selling novel, has an intriguing conceit at its core overflowing with potential, but despite the efforts of numerous actors who’ve been far better elsewhere the film is a tonal mess from beginning to end. The drama is laughable, the humor falls flat, the mystery is transparent and the characters feel as inhuman as the numerous serpents that begin to gather in Ig’s wake.

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Horns-Daniel-Radcliffe

The filmmakers behind Horns had a wealth of material at their disposal. Author Joe Hill‘s novel easily could’ve been adapted into a miniseries, which is an idea even the film’s director, Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes), endorses. It’s not a gigantic book, but it tells more than one story, both tonally and structurally. Hill’s novel goes from comedy to horror in a matter of pages. In the movie, those transitions often happen in seconds. Pulling off those tonal shifts is a challenge and they’re certainly not meant for every filmgoer. Joe Hill, on the other hand, wants to see more of those kinds of movies. He also wouldn’t mind less adaptations like The Prince of Tides, a film he highly recommends staying away from. Hill had plenty more to say in our discussion with him at Comic-Con, including why having a sexual fetish beyond high heels is important.

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Piranha 3D

Four years ago Piranha 3D made an appearance at Comic Con. At the time, people weren’t expecting much from the movie. Director Alexandre Aja was just coming off the disastrously bad Mirrors and his remake of the Joe Dante film didn’t exactly look promising. In the end, Piranha 3D turned out to be a delightful surprise. It was funny, self-aware, and everything Piranha 3D should be. The sequel, however, was not. Two years after the first movie Piranha 3DD scored a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and only grossed $8m worldwide. Now compare those numbers to the first movie’s 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and $83m global box-office take. The drop in quality is rather apparent. Maybe that wouldn’t have been the case if Aja got to make the sequel he envisioned.

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reboot tales from the darkside

Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But, there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit. A darkside.” Those words were first heard emanating from televisions way back in 1984 when Tales From the Darkside made its premiere in syndication. Created after the success of Creepshow by George Romero and Laurel Entertainment, the show was an anthology series in the vein of Tales From the Crypt or The Twilight Zone with one story per episode. Unlike those and most other similar shows though, this one featured no host (human or puppet). They were usually horror-themed but often featured a somewhat silly or light-hearted tone. There were ninety episodes in total across four seasons, and some of them came from recognizable names including Stephen King, Robert Bloch, and Charles L. Grant. (And Jodie Foster even directed an episode!) Per Deadline, the series is getting a reboot on the CW, and it’s coming with some big guns behind the scenes. Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci will be executive producing, and while the knee-jerk reaction to their names may be one of disappointment I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a fan of their wonderfully goofy Fox hit Sleepy Hollow. The better news though is that author Joe Hill is also coming along for the ride.

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news horns1

Daniel Radcliffe is a having A Moment. With the trailer for Kill Your Darlings just released yesterday, we’re now getting a glimpse of his other upcoming project, Horns, in the form of some images revealing his titular problem. Horns, directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D), follows an unassuming man named Ig (Radcliffe) who is accused of brutally murdering his beloved girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). Though Ig maintains his innocence, people have a really hard time believing his story when he starts sprouting devilish horns out of his forehead apropos of nothing. Gruesome as they may appear, the horns have the strange ability to force people around Ig to tell the truth, making this murder investigation just a little bit easier than he might have anticipated. The stills, courtesy of EW, show Ig in three states of horniness (not that kind, grow up), ranging from before Merrin’s death, in happier times,to his full incarnation looking satyr-like and emerging from a smoky bar that looks like the pits of hell itself. Should I insert my obligatory joke about Radcliffe being used to having unusual forehead features here? I’m looking forward to hearing more about this movie, which is adapted from a novel by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), and seeing a full length trailer that explains the process behind growing horns. Because Ig looks horrified.

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Joe Hill

Alexandre Aja‘s upcoming adaptation of Joe Hill‘s best selling novel Horns already has a solid and exciting lead actor in Daniel Radcliffe, but it looks like the cast may be about get even more interesting. Per The Wrap, three more actors are set to join the former boy wizard (and the previously-announced Max Minghella who plays the best friend and probable killer) in this dark tale of revenge and morality. Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner, and Juno Temple are all in negotiations for supporting roles. Radcliffe will play the lead, a young man who awakens one morning with devilish horns growing out of his head. Even odder, the horns make it impossible for people to lie to his face. When his girlfriend is found raped and murdered he sets out to find her killer using the power of the horns. But his search for the truth will uncover things he might not want to find.

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Like many foreign directors before him, Alexandre Aja followed the traditional path for hot filmmakers abroad who find themselves wooed by the bright lights and big money of Hollywood. He made a big, bloody splash on the genre scene with 2003’s High Tension and then pretty much tanked. He waited three years before making his American debut…with a capable but uninteresting remake of The Hills Have Eyes. Followed by Mirrors. Followed by Piranha. All three contain pockets of entertainment, but none of them had the intensity or interesting narrative of his French psycho thriller. But just because his American efforts have failed to live up to his initial hype so far doesn’t mean that he’s packing it in and heading home a la John Woo. Per Variety (and @joe_hill‘s Twitter feed), Aja will begin filming an adaptation of Hill’s novel “Horns” this fall. Shia LaBeouf was originally attached to star, but thankfully for those of us who prefer actual actors in our movies Daniel Radcliffe has signed on instead.

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Finally, a day that I’ve been waiting quite a while for has come. There’s word on what director Alexandre Aja’s next horror project is going to be. If you don’t know Aja, he’s the guy responsible for the incredibly gross The Hills Have Eyes remake that came out a couple of years ago as well as the ridiculously fun Piranha remake that hit last year. He’s pretty much the only director currently working in the horror genre that keeps turning my non-horror guy head, so I’m super excited to hear that he’s got something else in the works. What’s on the docket this time? A movie called Horns that is an adapted screenplay Scott Bunin wrote from a novel by Joe Hill. Though he probably gets annoyed that people keep bringing this up, it’s pretty much unavoidable, so I’ll say it anyway: Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son, so the horror is strong in this one.

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We know you’ve been on the edge of your futon waiting for the latest Shia LaBeouf news, and tonight you’re in luck. He’s attached to a new movie. Per Variety, LaBeouf has signed on to an adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel Horns. It’s the story of Ignatius Perrish, a twenty-something who awakens after a bender to find a pair of horns growing on his head. People he meets suddenly feel compelled to share their darkest secrets, and soon his own behavior starts to become questionable. As if that isn’t bad enough his ex-girlfriend, the one he still loves, is found assaulted and murdered. And Ig’s the prime suspect. Hill, the son of obscure novelist Stephen King, has seen both of his novels optioned for the big screen. Heart Shaped Box was picked up by WB earlier, but it looks like Horns will be the first to hit screens. The script is being written by Keith Bunin, who’s currently writing a film for Michel Gondry, but there’s no director attached to this project as of yet. LaBeouf will next be seen in this summer’s not terrible at all Transformers: Dark Of the Moon and is currently filming The Wettest Country for director John Hillcoat. Horns should probably be next on his schedule, but that has yet to be confirmed.

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hill-horns

Mandalay Pictures has optioned film rights to a yet-to-be-released novel called Horns. No one would care, except that the novel is written by Joe Hill — better known as Stephen King’s son. And with gigantic horns in the mix, it’s clear that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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