Horns: Merrin was Never Ill. (375 words)
For once, I’m not going to develop a complete Alternative Reading but just point at a very specific detail that is clearly false, is not contradicted before the ending of the movie and hints at a secret truth that needs to be unearthed.
At some point in the story Iggy finds a letter written in morse code in which his girlfriend explains that she left him because she was sick and condemned and didn’t want him to witness the slow deterioration of her health.
This final revelation rings terribly clumsy for the audience as Merrin and Iggy have known each other since they were kids and it’s very unlikely that she could have been able to hide such a thing from him (or from the villagers and thus from him). Also, it is very convenient that Merrin should have written such a letter to explain her breaking up with Iggy as she was murdered on the same evening. The problem is that there’s no reason why the young woman should have decided to write something in the first place as she couldn’t have known that she was going to die suddenly and would never have the opportunity to tell Iggy the truth in person if desired. The letter makes no sense. More, it could have been faked very easily as it was written in morse code => no need to reproduce the girl’s writing.
The real element that deconstructs the idea that Merrin was seriously sick is simpler than all these considerations. Her dad tells Iggy that when his wife died, he thought he had gone through the single most horrible thing he would ever live, that which means he never expected to survive his daughter and thus that Merrin didn’t have her mother’s disease.
If Merrin was perfectly healthy, and never cheated on Iggy, then one of the main events of the story has no explanation: her breaking up with him.
There necessarily is a reason though. Personally, as off now, I believe it as to do with everybody believing that Iggy is the murderer. Nobody wanted Merrin to be with Iggy and the reasons she could have had to leave him could very well have been exterior to the dynamics inside their couple.