More Tragic than Magic

Being a fan of horror, thriller, Emily Browning, Juno Temple, and Michael Cera (particularly Cera), I was dying to catch this movie more than most other indies slated for a 2013 release. It wasn’t a case of too high an expectation, because I approach most movies with an open mind, even more so with independant cinema. Magic Magic certainly had all the elements needed to create a good horror, and also had five solid actors to help carry it, but it just wasn’t enough to take this mundane story, and give it a much needed lift. As we progress through the film, each of the three segments were more or less defined equally enough, with the first, the usual, slow, introductory segment, giving us a feel for each character. The second, and arguably the most important, started well, while we watch Alicia (Temple) begin her very convincing dive into madness. But as things began to look promising, the final third took me out of the story, by just not giving me anything to hold interest, and seeing Juno Temple naked (again), only keeps me momentarily distracted, and really, I only wanted to see a decent movie.

Magic Magic
Sebastián Silva
Emily Browning, Juno Temple, Michael Cera, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Agustín Silva
Release Date
16 August 2013
Ed’s Grade: D+

Sarah (Browning), is an exchange student, over in Chile. She’s asked her cousin, Alicia, a Calafornian, to come and visit with she and her boyfriend Agustín (Agustín Silva), and his sister Barbara (Catalina Sandino Moreno, The Bridge). Also in attendance is Brink (Cera), another American, who is extremely irritating, and quirky (written with Cera in mind no doubt), but key to the story. Sarah gets called away, and leaves an unhappy cousin, to go with three strangers, in a foreign country, on ahead, as she has to go back to school for a day. As soon as they arrive in Patagonia to settle in, Alicia tries to call Sarah on her cell, but can’t get a signal. After messing around with hypnosis, Alicia starts to act crazy, doing ever more bizarre things, like hitting herself repeatedly on the head. Things start to get worse, even after Sarah returns, and Brink doesn’t help matters, after shooting a parrot which really upset Alicia.

I’m really disappointed in Magic Magic, and wished Temple’s excellent performance was enough to carry this slow tale, of descent into boredom, but alas, twas not to be. Cera was also very good, even some of the direction looked promising, but I can’t help feel it was all a waste of considerable talent, and I hope I don’t see this too often. This should have been a Grade B, but I think I’m being generous with the D+ I’m laying on it. By the way, I’m convinced Juno Temple has something in her contract which states her breasts must be displayed a bare minimum of once per movie, because I’m struggling to remember the last time she stayed fully clothed.

Ed Blackadder