Magic Magic

There is nothing magic about this film, leaving me to think as to what the producers of this movie intended with this misleading title. Magic Magic is a 2013 Chilean-American psychological horror film written and directed by Sebastián Silva. It stars Juno Temple, Emily Browning, Michael Cera, Augustin Silva and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

Alicia is a young American woman who travels to Chile to meet up with her cousin Sarah who is currently in the country attending university. When she gets there she learns that Sarah is going on a trip to the countryside in Pagoda with her Chilean boyfriend Augustine and friends Brink, a fellow American student & Augustine’s sister Barbra. Alicia is apprehensive of traveling & staying with strangers but is urged on by her cousin. However just as they leave on the journey, Sarah is called from her university and is forced back to school to retake an exam (or so weÔÇÖre lead to believe). She convinces Alicia to travel with the other 3 and says she will join them the next day. Alicia finds the 3 people’s behaviour strange especially Brink and his weird sense of humour. The long flight to Chile added with the 15 hour drive to rural areas give an already┬áapprehensive, awkward and jetlagged Alicia insomnia and her grip on reality is affected.

The four of them settle in a small cabin where Barbra, a medical student, begins to study and in an unfriendly manner tells the rest not to disturb her. That leaves Alicia with Augustine and Brink who seem to be acting weirdly to the young girl and their frequently talking in Spanish also makes her feel left out. When Sarah is delayed by two more days, Alicia starts to cry due to the loneliness and awkward feeling she has with three strangers. While watching the two men playing on roller skates she sees a local sheep dog and tries to be friendly with it but she freaks out with it starts humping her leg, which amuses the men. Brink also seems to hit on Alicia anytime they are alone, even for a few seconds, which irritates her. She is unable to sleep and even her slight movements in her room seems to disturb Barbra, which the latter always rudely mentions to Alicia. Also, earlier on the drive to Pagoda a heartless maneuver pulled on a sick, stray puppy pierces her emotions, though that pales in comparison to her reaction to Brink shooting a bird dead on its blood-drenched wings. In her eyes, they’re all “sadists”! Alicia is also frustrated with the spotty cell service and when gets a call from Sarah, she is reduced to tears as she complains about her cabinmates but she feels that Sarah was talking to someone else!

Sarah finally arrives but is more concerned about hooking up with Augustine than being sympathetic to Alicia’s fears. There is a scene at a cliff where the other 3 (minus Barbra) go jumping into the water but a scared Alicia is rushed to tears with the rest trying to coax her. Barbra gives Alicia sleeping pills to curb her insomnia but a night later, Alicia is hypnotized by Augustine and is made to do a few silly things including dancing provocatively. When Brink tells her to place her hand in the fire, she does, burning her hand and waking her up. She is medicated but again unable to sleep. The final straw for Alicia is when she realizes that she could be hallucinating – her call with Sarah which the latter denies happening and her running away from the same sheep dog only to see it coming with it’s owner from another direction. She begins to walk in a trance, even provocatively rubbing her pubic area on Brink’s face which the two later argue about. At the end she walks off in the night, half in a trance due to overdosing on sleeping pills and is caught by the others and taken to a family that lives nearby as the nearest hospital is over 5 hours away. The couple conduct a native ceremony and is given some tea to drink but in her state she chokes on it and dies, while the others are so traumatized that they can’t even bear to watch. The end!

I know some people liked it but I didn’t. It’s a mess and it bored me for the most part. I do agree that both Cera & Temple’s performances are what drives the movie. I give it a 5.5 outta 10! Will not be watching it again.