A lot of bad horror movies start with teenagers heading into the woods for a vacation. Very rarely, good horror movies also start this way. Such as Sebastian Silva’s Chilean tale of missed social cues, superstition, paranoia, madness, and worse. Magic Magic is partly one of those “foreigners are evil” movies, about the strangeness of Chile through an American visitor’s eyes. But the foreigners here are the Americans, which is the exact opposite of Eli Roth’s crassly ignorant stories of otherness, where he couldn’t care less if it’s South America or Eastern Europe. Silva’s intimacy with his own country, and particularly the way he conveys menace in the mundane, gives Magic Magic its power.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2013/08/18/best-thing-youll-see-all-week-magic-magic/