MAJIC **** USA 2019 Dir: Erin Berry. 89 mins
Reptilians, government cover-ups and alternate realities… Just a few of the mind-melting array of conspiracies touched upon in this short but jam-packed film from Banned For Life Productions!
A conspiracy theorist’s Valhalla, MAJIC doesn’t beat around the bush – rather, it leaps straight into the story, transporting us to wannabe YouTuber and self-confessed sceptic Pippa’s first meeting with the mysterious Richard Anderson. Anderson is an ex-military man, willing to share classified information regarding the top-secret ‘Operation Majic’ with our main protagonist. The ripples of worldwide panic that would inevitably ensue, should this information become public knowledge, make this an incredibly risky move on his part. But of course, it piques Pippa’s natural curiosity as she seeks to debunk his tale.
Pippa initially files Anderson’s outlandish claims firmly under the ‘Delusions of a Senile Old Crackpot’ category, but over the course of several encounters, she gradually begins to realise that there might just be some truth to his story.
Before long, Pippa starts to lose her grip on reality, especially when she realises that the timeline of history as she knows it has changed – all thanks to the foiled assassination of JFK, supposedly averted by extraterrestrial beings.
I found the first half of the movie a little tedious; however, it redeemed itself during the second half by plunging the viewer into Pippa’s mind. I was unable to look away as I was absorbed into this whirlwind of confusion and paranoia, where nothing (and no one) is quite as they seem.
At the end of the film, breathless after all of the plot’s twists and turns, I felt it was all a bit of an anti-climax… Was it all just a drug-induced hallucination? Or did the brief flash of yellow in the agent’s snake-like eyes indicate a far more sinister explanation? Personally, I would have liked to have seen a longer finished product. I also felt that much of the information thrown at the audience in the first half was irrelevant to the main plot.
I have a plethora of unanswered questions, and I went away feeling more confused than when it started. But perhaps that was the intention all along? Nonetheless, MAJIC is still well worth a watch – not your typical horror movie, yet it still keeps up a delightfully unsettling air of suspense throughout. The concept is brilliant, visionary, and cleverly shot. Part of its charm is that the story stays with you long after you finish watching, as your mind’s eye begins to open to endless possibilities that may be hiding just beneath the surface of what we assume to be real. MAJIC is guaranteed to keep you up all night!
Review by Karen Musilová