Category Archives: Thriller

There are films that are weird, like David Lynch weird, where their main intention seems to be to scare the shit out of the audience by distorting its sense of reality. In order to be successful in achieving the true weirdness, one that would be both thought-provoking and fucking scary, one needs to consequently lead to mislead its public. It’s a complex process and both the filmmaker and the viewer have to be equally involved in co-creating it. The weirdness comes from the collaborations of minds, but in order for it to even start, the filmmaker needs to tease the viewer by providing them with a plot that makes sense. Once the plot is revealed, it is up to the viewer to bring the jigsaw together, which simountaneously the filmmaker shatters all over the room. But the result is always successful.
Unless! Unless someone decides to skip all these steps and instead release a film solely based on the idea of weirdness for weirdness’ sake. This is how you make Magic Magic.


Oh my God, there are no words to describe how stupid Magic Magic is. It goes from nowhere to nothing and it just shits all over its audience’s brain by pretending to have twists (which are definitely surprising simply because they are so out-of-place that noone could possibly predict them) and a story (which is not a story, because the characters are non-existent and unnecessary and the whole outline must had been written by a horse). Magic Magic doesn’t respect its audience and even a weak attempt of acting (which is still stronger than the director’s attempt to make this film work) from Michael Cera doesn’t save it.
There’s not much that can be said about. It tells a story (already an overstatement) of a girl who goes to South America (ghosts, voodoo, you guess it- it will get cliche all the way) to visit her cousin and meet her friends. The cousin, Emily Browning, whose purpose in this film is to look like herself, can’t go to a trip she invite Alicia to and so Alicia has to spend the next however long with the cousin’s crazy friends. And now, I have no fucking idea what’s happening. Emily Browning’s friends are kind of psycho, kind of sadistic, kind of stupid. They are definitely neither of those in full, but there are bits and pieces of some sort of horror layout going on behind all this. Alicia is clearly not welcomed and of course not being able to catch a signal with her phone doesn’t help either. Finally, Browning returns but not to save her. Alicia goes ape-shit and everyone ignores it. And then (spoiler) she dies. The end.


Ok, maybe it’s not as straightforward as that. Before we get to the major events (ape-shitness, death), we have to travel through the road untravelled before: The Random Road. From cheap scares to creepy mirrors, Magic Magic has its all. And why is it called Magic Magic? If the reason really lies in the last scene, I want to say one thing: Fuck You, Silva (I must say that no matter how much I hated Magic Magic, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to see other films by this director; the titles are fascinating: Old Cats sounds like my type of a film).
Magic Magic is my nightmare. I would rather eat my own hand than see it again. So here you are. Should you see it? Your own responsibility.
Penguin!

By Amelie

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ask someone else to tell you why…

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Since my cat is cutely asleep right next to me, I will need to review The Frozen Ground without looking at the notes I took (and left in my bag in the living room!) during the screening. Do forgive me for not giving you the full image of what I experienced and take my word when I say that even without notes, I will do everything in my power to make this review more enjoyable than the film itself. So after magically managing to produce 75 words without mentioning the name of Cage, I will now proceed to describe how disappointing his new film was to me. Why so? Because there’s no Cage~Rage in The Frozen Ground.

The Frozen Ground boldly compares itself to another thriller that came out so long ago I don’t even care to check. The thriller in question is Se7evn and if you somehow managed to live your life without seeing it, The Frozen Ground release is a great opportunity to do so. You can then say that you spent your weekend watching one of the best thrillers ever made and saved yourself 13 pounds, or however much it costs these days to have the doubtful pleasure of watching big corporations steal money from the audience’s pockets. Frozen Ground is nothing like se7en. Of course it does satisfy all the requirements of the genre, but the main issue lies in its inability to show the horrors of the true story it is based on. First time in the history of Midnight Review, allow me to put some light on what exactly Frozen Ground is about (and it is not due to the fact that I have no idea what to write about since this film is so…average):

The Frozen Ground, according to my little memories of the film, tells a story of Nicolas Cage who, after encountering Vanessa Hudges- the only survived victim, goes  on hunt of one of the most disturbing prostitute killers in the 80s portrayed by another obnoxious actor, John Cusack. The film time is divided more or less equally between all three characters showing us their actions, but rarely any motifs behind them. So yes, the crimes are disturbing but not because they are portrayed with necessary tension and power, but because as human beings we have the ability to feel empathy. The film strongly relies on the audience’s imagination in hope that it will do the whole work. Instead, the filmmaker’s lack of analysis of the murderer’s personality and the psychological impacts the crimes committed had on all three characters, results in the bland and even boring at times movie. Nicolas Cage, who was the reason why I waited for this film with the excitement of six year old opening her Christmas presents, doesn’t get the opportunity to show off his amazing skills. He does what he’s been recently doing in all these fake Taken movies (Trespass, Stolen, some other one word films), and unfortunately contributes to The Frozen Ground’s utter borefest.

Apart from being boring, The Frozen Ground is pretty basic, but doesn’t fall below average in its genre. It’s well paced, interesting enough to hold the audience’s attention for about 90 minutes and tells a story that can be made into something better. Overall, one to miss when it comes out in cinemas, but might be seen when reaches DVD stands.