From A Wizard to A Corpse: Shannon on Daniel Radcliffe

Harry PotterWhen I was in 8th grade, I remember hearing about a book that was coming out called HARRY POTTER AND radcliffePOTTERTHE SORCERER’S STONE, and like all good Christian schools do, the book was immediately banned.  Being a young one who was always interested in the dark side of life, I knew I had to have this book.  Now, this article isn’t about Harry Potter (Lord knows I could write a million articles on that) but the actor who would later become the iconic character: Daniel Radcliffe.

Having been a total Harry Potter nerd and reading each book as they came out (from 8th grade up until around the age of 22) and becoming obsessed with the films, I wondered what Radcliffe would do after the series was through.  Would he always be known for Harry Potter or would he fade into obscurity?  Luckily for me, and his millions of fans, he has been shedding the Potter persona and making a name for himself with darker and more adult roles.  Even before the Harry Potter series ended, Radcliffe saw himself on Broadway in the stage show, Equus, as a stable boy who had an obsession with horses.  This role required him to be nude and I consider this to be the tipping point of shedding the innocence that was Harry Potter.

Since the series ended in 2011, Daniel Radcliffe has had the opportunity to make his mark in the film world in another unique way.  What I never saw coming was his desire to take on movies that were part of the horror genre.  In preparation for Daniel Radcliffe’s newest film, “Swiss Army Man” I decided to put together the following short list of my three favorite Daniel Radcliffe horror films.

 

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THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012)

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Susan Hill, the film centers around Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) a widowed lawyer and father who seems a bit detachedWoman in Black from his surroundings and life.  When beckoned to take on a case in Crythin Gifford, he never expects to unravel the horrifying mystery that awaits him as well as the hauntings from the ghost of a woman dressed in black.

I’ll be the first to say this isn’t the best movie in the world but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a good time watching this.  This was Radcliffe’s first major departure from Harry Potter and it was to the tune of a horror film.  I thoroughly enjoyed everything that I was watching as well as Radcliffe’s performance of Arthur Kipps.  The film was able to keep me on the edge of my seat as well as continuously being creepy and at times frightening.  Though Radcliffe has taken on numerous roles since THE WOMAN IN BLACK, this film remains to be my favorite horror film that Daniel Radcliffe has been in thus far.

 

HORNS (2014)

HornsThough this isn’t a film that I love, it is a film that showed how versatile Daniel Radcliffe is when it comes to his radcliffeHORNSperformances.  The film is directed by the one and only Alexandre Aja and is based on the book HORNS from author Joe Hill.  The story focuses on Daniel Radcliffe’s character, a man who has just been accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend the night prior.  As he puts together the memories of what has occurred he discovers that he has paranormal abilities that will help him to uncover the real killer.

My issues with this film have nothing to do with Radcliffe’s performance as I thought he was terrific.  To see him play a character that was so raw and so damaged and so hell bent on destroying the person that has hurt him and his loved ones was quite a turn from Harry Potter.  If there is one film that shows Radcliffe’s acting abilities, it most certainly is HORNS.

 

 

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (2015)

radcliffeFRANKI know I know.  Why is this film on the list?  Hear me out, it’s not as bad as you think it is.  It’s not great but it’s not bad, plus there’s some stellar eye candy, am I Victor-Frankensteinright or am I right?  The film, directed by Paul McGuigan, tells the Frankenstein story from the perspective of Igor (Radcliffe) and not only do we get to see the origins of where Igor came from but we also get to see the beginning of his friendship with Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and the ultimate demise and dark path that Victor goes on.

As I mentioned, this isn’t the best Frankenstein movie I’ve seen but the film has is a lot of heart and soul, especially from our protagonist Igor.  Radcliffe did a tremendous job of playing on our heart strings and making us feel for his character.  This may not be his best role to date, but regardless, he was able to steal the show and present a perspective I had yet to see in any other Frankenstein films.
Swiss-Army-Man-1So where does that leave Daniel Radcliffe now?  Just this past week his newest film, SWISS ARMY MAN was radcliffeWAMreleased in select theaters.  The film centers around a unique friendship between Hank (Paul Dano), a man who has been stranded in the wilderness and Manny (Daniel Radcliffe), a dead body, as they go on a journey to find their way home.  When the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, it caused a divide with viewers to the point that some of the audience walked out of the theater.

Now that it’s been released in theaters, critics and viewers alike are praising the uniqueness of the film as well as the acting by both Dano and Radcliffe.  Will we be seeing Daniel Radcliffe in more horror movies in the future?  As of right now, he’s not scheduled to be in any, but if his track record shows anything it’s that the horror genre is a space where Radcliffe can show just how versatile an actor he really is.