Magic Magic (2013) ***
D: Sebastián Silva
C: Juno Temple, Emily Browning, Michael Cera, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Agustín Silva
P: A college student visiting her cousin in South America slowly loses her grip on reality and begins to question what is and what isn't real.
In Magic Magic, we watch as one character slowly starts to lose her grip on reality. The tension and unease that Juno Temple's character experiences being in a foreign land with people that she doesn't know is vividly brought to the screen. As a viewer looking in, I truly felt the disorientation and panic that her character was feeling. I felt how something that might seem innocent enough to others such as diving off a rock into the ocean or a dog humping someone's leg could be quite terrifying and squirm inducing for someone else. I also felt how group dynamics change people and cause them to act in ways that they normally wouldn't. Magic Magic really took me into the mindset of Temple's character and made me feel all of the emotions that her character is experiencing, even if I didn't necessarily want to feel all of those emotions.
Performance wise, Juno Temple turns in a raw, uninhibited performance. She's the glue that holds this film together. I believed in what her character was believing in, thus I was emotionally invested in the film from start to finish. In a surprising change of pace, Michael Cera turns in a sly performance that exudes equal parts humor and menace.
Now, I am going to be honest with you, the marketing behind Magic Magic is a bit misleading and the film can be emotionally draining. It's well made, well acted and an all too effective exercise in terror. After the credits rolled, I wasn't exactly sure what to think of the film. Did I or did I not like the film? However, one thing was clear and that was that the film had affected me in some way and had made me feel something much more deeper and real then the standard chase and thrills of a normal horror film. [R] 98 mins.
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