Magic Magic (2013 film)

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Magic Magic
Magic Magic 2013 poster.jpg
Directed bySebastián Silva
Written bySebastián Silva
Produced by
Edited by
Music by
  • Daniel Bensi
  • Saunder Jurriaans
Distributed by
Release date
  • January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) (Sundance)
  • May 23, 2013 (2013-05-23) (Cannes)
  • August 16, 2013 (2013-08-16) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • Chile

Magic Magic is a 2013 psychological thriller film written and directed by Sebastián Silva and starring Juno Temple, Emily Browning, Michael Cera, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

The film premiered on January 22, 2013 at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[2][3] It was also played at the Directors' Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[4][5]


Alicia (Juno Temple), making her first trip outside the United States, arrives in Chile where her cousin Sara (Emily Browning) is studying, to accompany her on a road trip with Sara's boyfriend Agustín (Agustín Silva), as well as his sister Bárbara (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and his friend Brink (Michael Cera). However, Sara soon receives a call which reminds her of an important exam that she cannot miss. Alicia is nervous about being left alone with a group of Sara's friends, but is reassured that Sara will be back in only a day. She leaves, while the rest of the group continue on to the island where they are to stay.

Several unexpected events along the journey result in Alicia becoming concerned that Bárbara is irritated with her presence. They all finally reach the island, where Alicia grows increasingly isolated due to both the lack of a phone signal in which to reach Sara, and the behavior of Brink, whom she finds self-centred and antagonizing. Having not had much sleep, Agustín invites her along for a walk the next morning, where she becomes upset after Brink kills a macaw with the air rifle he had brought along. She runs off into the hills and finds a phone signal to call Sara, who says that she'll have to stay in the city for one more day. Alicia becomes exasperated, calling the group "sadists", but the signal dies before Sara can respond. Alicia returns to Agustín and Brink, and also finds a wandering sheepdog, which she happily pets until she realizes that it is humping her leg. She recoils in disgust and Brink laughs as Agustín chases the dog away.

Later that night, Alicia continues to be mocked by Brink about the incident; he begins to play wrestle with her until she becomes frightened and kicks him in the nose. Alicia becomes increasingly uncomfortable feeling unwelcomed and humiliated by the group. She tearfully manages to call Sara again, who arrives on the island the next day and speaks to Alicia in private. Alicia references the call from the previous night, but Sara says she did not get a call from her. In a whispered conversation Sara reveals she did not have to take a test but had an abortion. The group decides to cliff dive into the water later that day. Agustín, Brink and Sara all manage to perform the dive, yet Alicia becomes extremely fearful of the jump. Ultimately, she has an attack of vertigo and is brought back to the cabin. Sara is concerned that Alicia does not seem well due to a lack of sleep, but the group does not pay much attention. That night, Agustín demonstrates hypnosis on Alicia, who they think begins to loosen up when she performs the tasks Brink playfully orders her to do. However, she snaps out of her trance when he tells her to put her hand in the fireplace and she burns herself.

Sara puts Alicia to bed after the incident and leaves with Agustín. Alicia, however, begins to suffer hallucinations of Sara and Brink in the room. Later in the night, she wanders around the house and hears voices of the others talking about her disparagingly, but finds only Brink asleep when she investigates. In his room, she finds the air rifle and momentarily aims it at him, before pulling down her pants and waking him up by forcing his face into her crotch and leaving. When Sara returns to the cabin, she notices that Alicia has covered all of the mirrors. The next day, Brink angrily confronts Alicia, but she becomes distraught and denies that it ever happened. As Sara and Agustín attempt to calm the situation, Alicia runs off and breaks down in tears in front of Melda (Roxana Naranjo), another resident of the island. Melda takes her and the group to her home, where she treats Alicia's burn with herbal remedies. They all then return Alicia to the cabin and put her to bed again. Sara suggests to the group that Alicia should be taken to a hospital, but is told that the nearest one is five hours away. They then discover that she has escaped her room under the cover of darkness and has consumed all of Bárbara's sleeping pills; after intensively searching the island, the group discover Alicia back at the cliff face. They all attempt to talk her down, but she finally jumps in and is recovered.

The group desperately bring Alicia back to Melda, where she finally suffers a complete mental breakdown. Melda brings her to the island's only healer, who begins an ancient ritual that involves the body of a lamb and ritualistic music. Sara begins to panic as Alicia becomes calm and is convinced that she has died; the healer insists that Alicia's soul has only left her body temporarily for purification. The film ends as the group brings Alicia to the mainland on a motorboat, as Sara desperately tries to revive her cousin.



Magic Magic received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 67% of critics have given the film positive reviews, based on 36 reviews.[6] On Metacritic, the film has a 59 out of 100 rating based on 7 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]


Magic Magic won the Sitges Award for Best Actress for Temple.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MAGIC MAGIC (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "Magic, Magic in the Sundance Film Festival program". Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  3. ^ 2013 Sundance Film Festival Adds Four Feature Films, Including El Mariachi as ‘From the Collection’ Screening Archived April 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Sundance Film Festival website, Press release, 13.12.2012; retrieved 19 May 2013.
  4. ^ Chile en Cannes. La Tercera. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  5. ^ La Psicomagia de Jodorowsky hipnotiza Cannes. El Mercurio online. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Magic Magic". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  7. ^ "Magic Magic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 27, 2015.

External links[edit]