Magic Magic (2013)
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No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
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 with a murky history. She joins her cousin Sarah (Emily Browning), Sarah's boyfriend Agustín (Agustín Silva), the couple's eccentric friend Brink (Michael Cera) and Agustín's sister Barbara (Catalina Sandina Moreno) for a retreat in the countryside, but from the beginning, things don't go as planned. In the days that follow, more tension erupts between Alicia and the other members of the group, particularly Brink, who displays extreme anti-social tendencies and grows fond of malevolently pushing the girl's buttons. After Sarah returns, all hell threatens to break loose: Alicia is accosted by a local dog that attempts to copulate with her leg; Brink and Agustín play a dangerous game that threatens to cause Alicia grave physical harm, and it becomes increasingly apparent, throughout, that Alicia is now teetering on the brink of a full-scale mental breakdown, which terrifies the others. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Magic Magic
It's refreshing to see something with a dramatic heart beating beneath its discomfiting exterior.
It's a big load of much-ado-about-nothing dressed up in writer- director Sebastian Silva's arty movements.
Magic Magic's odd denouement is a dramatic curveball that smacks the viewer square in the face.
Silva, like all good film-makers, is a magician. But thanks to the last-minute fumbling, we're left with a broken spell.
Magic Magic is skewered on the horns of a dilemma, uncertain whether it's a horror film or a psychological drama -- and it doesn't work especially well as either.
Juno Temple is sensational in this assured psychological thriller from Sebastián Silva.
With some haunting imagery and an unusual, throbbing sense of dread throughout, this is a trippy twist on the horror trope about sadists and innocents.
Sebastián Silva's troubling psychological thriller largely eschews cabin-in-the-woods convention, and cements Juno Temple as one of the most compelling young actresses working today.
The first half of Magic Magic is greatly enjoyable: the performances are strong, the photography is crisp and immersive, and the mood is ripe and ominous.
It ebbs away at the climax, but there's 45 minutes where it sings loud and strange.
The by-the-numbers plotting is a little clunky but there's fun to be had in the cast's easy chemistry.
If you're like me and enjoy horror films that make you feel odd, unsettled and generally unpleasant, then this is one of the best feel-bad experiences you could have.
A disturbing, Polanski-esque psychological horror with stunning sound design and a pair of terrific performances from Juno Temple and Michael Cera.
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
Audience Reviews for Magic Magic
A shy and emotionally fragile American girl is trapped with four strangers in a vacation home in Chile when her friend ditches her to deal with personal issues. Well acted, with a decent atmosphere of subtle paranoia; unfortunately, the script is missing the narrative hooks to draw you into its REPULSION-lite scenario.More
If you've seen the trailer for "Magic Magic", then you've successfully been duped. Not to say "Magic Magic" isn't an exceptional thriller with fine performances, but anyone expecting a sinister, psychological thriller where everyone is out to get the leading lady will be sadly mistaken. Juno Temple plays lead Alicia, vacationing from the States to Chile to visit her cousin Sarah (the lovely Emily Browning) and her strange group of friends, which includes a wonderfully dark comedic turn from the talented Michael Cera. Upon arrival, Sarah has to ditch Alicia for school, sending her off, alone, with her friends. Highly relatable, the audience can almost certainly relate with the awkwardness of being left alone with a group of people you barely know and in Alicia's case of being somewhat socially awkward to begin with, the tensions are high. Here's where the bait and switch happens. [And spoiler alert for anyone wanting to be completely surprised]. Instead of Sarah's friends actually being sadists like the trailer leads you to believe, Alicia is actually the afflicted one. Off her meds and insanely paranoid, the film's darkness comes from its lead, rather then the surrounding characters, which is honestly a nice change of pace. The thrilling nature of the film is brought on by Alicia's paranoia as she struggles to be alone with this group of people while they hunt birds as a game and hypnotize one another. However, without the director clearly developing a point-of-view to trust or follow, the audience is left flailing through most of the film, wondering where it is going and how we got there when it does arrive. And with a strange and anti-climatic ending to which only the close watcher is privy to, "Magic Magic" is anything but. That being said, I admire both Juno Temple and Michael Cera for carrying the film as well as director Sebastián Silva, who does establish a very eerie tone to the film, despite being fragmented and unsure of itself.More
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