Monday, 30 July 2012

Horror Review: Magic (1978)

A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy while he tries to renew a romance with his high school sweetheart.

Now don't let that storyline fool you, yes this film has a romantic element to it but it's very essential to our character development and gives a reason for the killing we see. Long before we saw Hopkins become known for his role as the infamous Hannibal Lecter we had this, a story of a ventriloquist on the rise to stardom, but not is all as it seems as we soon find out, well this is a Horror/Thriller film! 

Hopkins showcases his talent that we all know him for, he captivates you when on screen and grabs your full attention. He does it with such ease that he makes it seem so easy, definitely a rare breed in the acting business.

Sir Richard Attenbourough does a fine job directing this film, mainly known for his acting work this was his fourth time directing but his first time directing a Horror. He's only directed 12 films in his career which is a shame because he shows us with this film that he has a talent for it.

The score for this film is great. The harmonica has never creeped me out but the way it's used in this film is perfect ans each time you hear it you wonder what's going to happen, it's absolutely perfect.

Okay so I will admit that ventriloquist dummies freak me out but I know I'm not the only one out there. They're really freaky, any toy or doll that comes to life is freaky but that's why it works so well when these films are done properly, we see them as a symbol of innocence, of our childhood and when that clicks it can scare you on so many levels.

Horror, drama, romance, thrills. This film is the full package for any movie fan. It maybe a slow burner but in my opinion that's a good thing.

If you want to see the "Magic" trailer then just click on the video below:

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

Mike Nichols briefly considered directing this film.

Norman Jewison was set to direct the movie before Richard Attenborough signed on.

The role of Corky was originally offered to Jack Nicholson, but upon hearing that he would have to wear a hairpiece to play the role, Nicholson turned it down.

Sir Laurence Olivier was set to play Ben Green, but had to drop out due to illness.

The "Fats" dummy was created specifically to look like Anthony Hopkins.

Upon seeing Fats for the first time, Anthony Hopkins was allowed to take the doll home to work with it. However, he wound up being so unnerved by it that he called the consulting ventriloquist in the middle of the night, threatening to throw Fats into the canyon if someone didn't come and get the doll immediately. Richard Attenborough ended up going to Hopkins' house to calm him down.

The original trailer for this movie, featuring the dummy Fats was removed from broadcasting stations after parents complained on how scary it was. In the trailer Fats talks, closes his eyes after he says the last line, which is "when you're dead", the voiceover mentions the actors and the rating (R) at which point Fats opens his eyes and they roll to the left.

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