Magic Magic (2013)
Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 6
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 1,012
A vacationing insomniac loses the ability to distinguish dreams from reality while traveling the Chilean countryside with a group of adventurers that includes her best friend and an enigmatic American in this downbeat saga. Though it came to the U.S. billed as a thriller or a horror picture, Chilean director Sebastian Silva's Magic Magic is more aptly described as a dark psychological drama with tense overtones. Juno Temple stars as Alicia - an emotionally fragile young woman in her early 20s
Aug 6, 2013
Sony Pictures - Official Site
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Meticulously acted, gorgeously shot and hilariously insightful about the strange, inarticulable ways people can get on one another's nerves, this psychological thriller takes its premise to surprising, darkly comic extremes ...
Plenty of creepy atmosphere and counter-cliche left turns don't quite make up for the odd, slightly unsatisfying finale, but it's certainly an unusual ride.
Silva's skill is allowing us to experience everything through the point of view of his protagonist, although things become tedious in the final reel
Silva takes us by the hand and drags us into the madness as well, and it's an experience that is wholly uncomfortable.
One young woman's descent into paranoid psychosis offers much to admire but not a lot of real-person emotion to engage with; the result is a compelling but frustratingly light style-over-substance thriller.
By mixing enough art and approach into what is otherwise a standard cinematic mind game, we end up with a winning combination
You can tell the movie is hell bent on exploring a psychological madness, but never earns its way down this road, instead choosing a series of contrived and inorganic conceits to manipulatively push her (and the audience) into a corner.
Magic Magic is a little too reliant on the spotlight performances of Juno Temple and Michael Cera, and is definitely too light on story.
As a study in deliberate pacing and unsettling tone, Magic Magic is a success. Its best scenes are the ones that showcase how group dynamics can change individual behavior and make people act out.
Silva has to show his hand eventually, and much like Crystal Fairy, which wrapped up with a whopper of a third-act campfire tale, the film falls apart once its mysteries dissipate. With them go all the dark ambiguities that colored the first hour.
The production really serves the material with camera work which makes the ordinary disturbing.
For viewers stuck on this island for 90 minutes with three boisterous extroverts and one semi-catatonic, semi-hysteric guest, it's like coming down with a case of both schizophrenia and high cabin fever.
Playing on fears of isolation, medication and the unknown, Magic Magic builds an unfalteringly oppressive atmosphere that is occasionally as funny as it is frightening.
Juno Temple is excellent, raw and unpredictable as Alicia, while Michael Cera (who also executive produces) offers genuine surprise in a dark and unrestrained performance.
At the screening I attended, there were audible moans and even an entreaty to "make it stop." Yeah, you've got to see this movie.
The script unsettles, but never scares, so it doesn't work as a horror film. It's also not a convincing chronicle of deteriorating mental illness.
Audience Reviews for Magic Magic
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