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Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure George Michael Bluth has gone totally batshit in the above trailer for Sebastian Silva’s second collaboration with Michael Cera – the first being the chaotic comedy Crystal Fairy. Both films feature Cera playing against type, and in the case of Magic Magic, his usual nebbishness is replaced with a wide-eyed insatiability for making people uncomfortable; and I’m talking about both Juno Temple’s character, Alicia, and the viewers.
Magic Magic’s description made it sound like a “tourist in trouble” horror, but the trailer makes it look like a reverse home invasion thriller, or a visceral take on a cult movie. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Brink (Cera), Barbara (Catalina Sandino Moreno), Agustin (Agustin Silva), or even Sarah (Emily Browning). That’s the trouble with casting young people in lunatic roles these days: there’s more gravitas to being a nutzo when it’s implied that it’s been going on for decades. I could just be slightly put off by Cera’s manic gaze looking more like an awkward come hither romantic invitation, and the fact that I'm pretty sure Juno Temple could crush Michael Cera in a fight.
Alicia travels to Chile in her first vacation outside of the U.S., and ends up inside the house of sadism, unable to get her friends to rescue her in time. I do love that despite the out-there quality shading the entire trailer, it does come across as psychologically thrilling, rather than seeming silly or camp. Though Cera’s glee when he tells Temple to go stick her face in the fire made me giggle in a way that only camp performances do, so maybe I’m fooling myself here.
Even though the trailer says it’s out now on DVD, it won’t officially get released for another two months on August 6. While Magic Magic’s remote setting almost certainly won’t be more fun than the cabin in Cabin in the Woods, I think I’m more afraid to go to Chile.