Aki Vs. Evil: Horns

Daniel Radcliffe has been trying to find his footing after the you-know-what, which will be an albatross around his neck for the rest of his career. He seems to honestly enjoy working as an actor and according to him, he hasn’t even touched the you-know-what money at all, but is living on the money he is making on these other projects. And while the filmography he has beyond you-know-what would be a fine career most actors would be envious of, these movies will always be overshadowed.

Spoilers.

Ig’s girlfriend has been murdered brutally and the whole town assumes he is the guilty party. One morning Ig grows horns, which seem to have a weird effect on people. It brings out those worst desires in everyone around him. So, he uses this ability to try to investigate her death.

Despite the big name actor, like most of Radcliffe’s post-you-know-what projects, this wasn’t a box office success. It made less than four million dollars worldwide. These high concepts can be a difficult sell. The budget was probably more than most horror movies, as there are some very familiar character actors in the movie and the soundtrack has Heroes, Where Is My Mind?, and Marilyn Manson’s version of Personal Jesus, among others, on it, so they weren’t exactly sparing expenses on that.

But let’s talk theology, because that’s what you came here for, right? I can’t really claim to be an expert on this, but I would claim to be more aware of Christian theology in particular than the average practitioner (which I am definitely not, despite being baptized at an early age).

So, at the very end of the movie, Ig is able to channel heavenly powers, but instead gives in to the temptation of becoming a demon in order to get revenge on his girlfriend’s death. Despite this, the confrontation leads to his death and we are lead to understand that he is than reunited with his girlfriend, he is supposedly in Heaven. This should lead to a question: If you actually go all demon, should you really, under the weird, arbitrary rules supposedly given to us by a higher being, be able to get to Heaven?

This should of course be problematic for Christians. What’s okay and often encouraged in media might not be actually fine under the Rules. According to the King James translation, Romans 12:19 says the following:

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Of course, we are assuming here that St. Paul, who wrote Romans, knew what he was talking about, but accepting that, it is quite clear that we, as mortals, shouldn’t seek vengeance on our own. We should let G-d have that.

On the other hand, it could also be argued that the verse says specifically not to avenge yourselves, which might be read as giving permission to avenge others, which is what Ig is doing, but that is probably going too far from the spirit of this rule. Even more so, would embracing your demonic nature be allowed if vengeance was? Probably not.

This is a comedy… of sorts, so all this religious weirdness could also be understood as satire. Well, the satirical elements seem to be a result of the religious weirdness rather than about it. After Ig grows his horns, people want to seek his approval for being bad. For example, a waitress at the local diner wants to become famous by testifying against Ig and then furthering her fame with a sextape (which I guess would have been a valid tactic back in early 2010s). Ig also gets rid of the journalists following him by getting them to fight it out for an exclusive interview.

What does this mean? One thing you should have in a fantasy setting is rules. Sure, you are breaking laws of nature, but supernatural things should be following some principles. They might not be laid out clearly for the audience, but the author should be aware of them. Here I don’t feel that the author has thought everything through. It just feels like they have this general idea of angels and demons, but not really about their roles in the world.

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