“Horn-y” as Hell

Finally. Daniel Radcliffe has acted in a movie where I actually like his acting. Don’t get me wrong. I have watched almost every movie he has acted in. But I’ve always felt like something’s missing in his acting-emotion-wise. In my honest opinion, when he was first cast as Harry Potter and I watched the first movie, I wasn’t impressed. But he has gotten better with every movie he has made and that is saying something. More confident, more in touch with the character he plays, more able to fill in the missing piece of his emotional character quota. He practically rules in Horns 2014. Not only as the Devil but also in his acting. The movie Horns includes symbolic references to Satan-mostly how Satan is viewed by the world today- but these views can’t be further from the truth.  Such symbolic references are discussed below:

1. Perrish (hellbent are we?)


Spelt with a double “r” and playing more on the word “perish”, Ignatius/ Iggy’s surname is one of the first indicators of destruction, death and ruin to come. But whether he himself will perish or cause others to perish is what the film decides to explore.

 2. His world turned “upside down”


Notice how an upside down cross seems to reflect Satanism? Never really understood why. As far as I know it, St. Peter was crucified upside down because he thought himself unworthy to be killed in the same way as Christ. So it’s actually a sign of humility and Christianity. I read a nice article online (http://www.gotquestions.org/upside-down-cross.html) that says the context to which it is applied ultimately indicates whether an upside down cross is evil or not. Much like the belief you attach to an idea or a thing. Movies and books though use it as an indicator of Satan, so the upside down Iggy scene in the beginning of the movie was a subtle reference to the Anti-Christ. In the normal sense, it could also mean that Iggy’s world turned upside down, the day Merrin died.

3. Drunk on the Devil?

IlluminatiWatcherDotCom-Horns-Checkered-Floor-66 (1)

The number 666 is commonly associated with the Devil or the Anti-Christ. The number is mentioned once in Revelations 13:18 in the Holy Bible. There are many speculations as to why the number 666 represents the devil, but the Bible just reveals it to be the number of the beast. The various interpretations online will make your head spin, with no definite answer in the end because God only knows, so make a note of it and move on. After the death of Iggy’s girlfriend, the opening scene of the film is upside down but before it straightens out you see a drink bottle with the letter 6 (actually a 9 when straightened), with another 6 next to it. An incomplete 666, but probably hinting at it-remember context?

4. Is Iggy horn-y yet?

7210f64e09a46076875b8f82e4a038a0 (1)

Lucifer is heralded as one of the most beautiful of angels that God ever created. So I highly doubt his appearance as an evil looking red creature running around inciting the world to evil, with his horns and his pitchfork is accurate. Actually not even close. If Lucifer is as pretty as the Bible says he is, he will take on a form that will appeal to us, not one that would scare us off. He could take on the appearance of your closest friend, your parent, your better-half, someone close to you. He has the capacity to take on any appearance at will be it man or beast. In some instances in the Bible, he is described having many horns in his bestial form. This may be symbolic in itself as depicting Satan as a monster. The symbolic portrayal of the Devil with his horns in his bestial form is based on the ancient Greco-Roman deity of Pan, the horned half-goat shepherd who was a god of nature.


Artistic version of Pan above. The view’s Pan-oramic right? In the movie, what has to be noted is people’s reaction to Iggy’s horns. Even though anyone would gawk at someone suddenly waking up one day and sprouting horns, the only one who seems to have had a panic attack is Iggy. He is constantly questioning people on why the horns are not freaking them out. It’s funny.

People should be doing this.


Instead they do this.

Horns 4

It is the best depiction of people’s reaction towards evil and the ways of the world. Evil has become so much a part of this world that even when we come face to face with it, it has no effect on us at all. We don’t freak out. We put evil on a pedestal instead. Which is bad as Iggy points out.

5. Meet the Fork-er?


Since no one is sure of what the Devil really looks like, a lot of imagery has been created relying solely on the artist’s imagination. The Devil carrying a pitchfork is one of these, borrowed from Hades/ Pluto, Greek God of the Underworld, though he is shown sporting a bident. Either Hades or one of the many pagan gods.

In the picture above, Hades is at the bottom with his bident, a two pronged instrument that resembles a pitchfork. If Lucifer appeared to us, it wouldn’t be in a way that drew too much attention and nothing says “Pay attention to me” more than a pitchfork. Iggy is shown to be wielding the pitchfork as his weapon of choice in Horns. 

6. The Devil made me do it


A lot of people have posed questions as to whether the Devil knows a person inside-out. The Devil was a creation of God ultimately, so while he may not necessarily know your thoughts, he has been around long enough to know that human beings are prone to temptation and only need  a spot of encouragement in that direction. He makes a good guess as to the bad thoughts you are likely to have and the bad things you are likely to do. Since he knows the worst that a human being is capable of, he tempts you to bring out the worst in you.

Ig & Genna TRIM

While a lot of people blame the wrong things they do on the Devil (It wasn’t me! The Devil made me do it!), every person has light & darkness within them. Every individual faces the choice of harnessing either his dark side or his benevolent one. In the Creation Story, the Devil couldn’t make Eve do anything. She had to make a choice. She just made the wrong one. In the movie, a “horn-y” Iggy causes people to reveal their deepest darkest secrets when they are around him, a loose depiction of the Devil bringing out the worst in you.

7. Hiss-terical 


The snake is associated with Satan, because he takes the appearance of a snake or maybe possessed one, after he fell from grace, to tempt Eve & Adam into eating the forbidden fruit. Later on, it is mentioned that God curses the snake. But it’s not the snake he’s cursing. It’s actually Satan. In Horns, snakes are attracted to Iggy’s presence and keep following him wherever he goes. After a slight point of hesitation, Iggy finds out that he is actually comfortable around them, an indicator of the fate of the snake & Satan being entwined, as well as a reference to Satan in the Creation Story.

8. I am so “cross” with you 


One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is the way Merrin’s cross is used. When Iggy uses his magical power to question Lee, we realize that Lee cannot see Iggy with his horns. Infact he seems to be the only one who can’t see Iggy’s horns. Shocker. While we start believing him to be a good guy (he did save Iggy from drowning as a kid), we realize the only reason he could not see Iggy’s horns was because he was wearing Merrin’s cross, which he has stripped off her when he killed her. Infact I have a bone to pick with this idea. Everyone who knew Merrin knew she loved that cross and wore it wherever she went. Yet when she was killed no one thought to look for the missing cross. Maybe I’ve been watching too many Castle episodes, but that should have been the first thing everyone should have looked for, including Iggy. Anyways I’m off topic. The power of the cross as an instrument against evil and shielding even the worst sinner (Lee) from evil (when he wears the cross, he cant see the horns) is shown prominently in Horns. The cross’s  transformation powers are also depicted in the movie in the scene where Iggy loses the Horns when he wears the cross. The cross can not only shield you from evil but rid you off it too. People may also point out that Merrin’s cross didn’t ultimately save Merrin, but the way in which Merrin dies was the cross she had to bear.

9. Highway to hell?

Horns Movie Picture (2)

I actually didn’t notice this but got it from an interview that Daniel Radcliffe did on Horns. He said “One of my favorite things is that all of the driver’s registration plates in the movie are Bible verses, which relate very specifically towards the characters”

10. Let’s Eve-n the odds


Eve’s Diner complete with the apple logo in Horns is a direct reference to Eve eating the apple in the Creation Story. It’s interesting that they called the restaurant Eve’s Diner because when Eve ate the apple, she gave it to Adam and he ate it. In that act, because of what they did, the whole world ate the apple through them. Eating the apple is symbolic for humanity’s fall from grace. Iggy often eats with Merrin at Eve’s Diner in the movie. It is also the last place Merrin is seen at before she dies.

11. Hot as Hell 


Hell-the home of Satan is always associated with fire. Biblical references also use terms like fire & brimstone, lake of fire, furnace of fire, eternal fire etc.

But we don’t know whether this fire literally exists in Hell or is a symbolic reference to your suffering likened to being burnt by fire. You don’t need the presence of fire in Hell to suffer. The absence of the presence of God will suffice. In the movie, Iggy sets a bar on fire by the touch of his finger and burns it down, after which he walks out engulfed in smoke.

12. Just wing it!


Lucifer fell from grace because of his pride. 1/3rd of the angels fell from heaven with him. Ever heard of the saying pride comes before the fall? Now we know where the expression came from. In Horns, when Iggy takes off the cross, he sprouts white angel wings and is propelled into the air. At the same time, his wings start burning and he is thrown back down to the ground. If that isn’t some symbolic depiction of Lucifer’s fall from grace after renouncing God, I don’t know what is.

13. The Devil’s in the details


Iggy’s transformation from an angel to a fiery creature at the end of the movie is a representation of Satan falling from grace and a more direct reference to his bestial form in Hell-a fiery, monstrous creature from the pit. Again, Satan has the capacity to take on a bestial form but Iggy’s bestial look seems to be based on a more elaborate version of Pan.

So I hope the article was smoking hot! Now I must end with a sign that you mostly see on heavy trucks if you’ve been to Bombay. Totally punning on Horns off-course.

Horn OK please 60-50

Picture credits

Cover- Iggy and Merrin


Ignatius Perrish name (http://i61.tinypic.com/alnmv6.png)

Igy bottle scene


Igy with Horns


Pan God (https://greekgodpan.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/pan2.jpg)

Iggy with Merrins father


Iggy with the media


Igy with a pitchfork


Olympian Gods-Zeus, Poseidon & Hades


Horns Poster (http://www.impawards.com/2014/horns_ver5.html)

Ig and Genna


Igy with snake


Merrin’s cross


Igy with his car (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ONyhbvn74CI/U9jt-AXd7WI/AAAAAAAAADQ/QhLBkMoP8hk/s1600/Horns+Movie+Picture+(2).jpg)

Iggy surrounded by fire smoke (http://www.dorriolds.com/wp-content/uploads/HORNS_4-crop.jpg)

Movie clip-Iggy Fire scene

Movie clip-Iggy angel to devil transformation scene

Igy as creature from the pit


Horn Ok Please



10 thoughts on ““Horn-y” as Hell

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