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Magic Magic Review

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Holidaying in the south of Chile with her cousin Sarah (Browning) and a group of her friends, Alicia (Temple) is beset by insomnia. As her grip of the reality around her loosens, the trip descends into the realms of nightmare.

★★★★★

Mental illness is such a terrifying thing, it’s strange that it isn’t the basis of more psychological horror films. Here, insular Alicia (Juno Temple) suffers what seems to be a breakdown while holidaying with her cousin Sarah (Emily Browning), her already fragile mind disturbed by the obnoxious antics of Sarah’s friend, Brink (Michael Cera). Temple gives a raw performance as the girl with the unravelling psyche, and there are echoes of early Polanski (not to mention cult horror Let’s Scare Jessica To Death), but ultimately Chilean writer-director Sebastián Silva’s neither-fish-nor-fowl narrative plays tricks on our minds, without fully engaging our senses.

An unnerving portrayal of an unraveling mind.