Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Magic (1978, Richard Attenborough)

Sometimes horror films reveal tragedy in a more unique way. Magic, a classic 1978 horror film gives the viewer a window into the disturbed mind of Corky, expertly played by Anthony Hopkins. Corky used a dummy named Fats to become successful, yet the dummy controls him, something that has popped up in horror and sci-fi multiple times. However Richard Attenborough takes a slow burning, sure handed approach and gives a fresh and creepy spin on previously done material.

My favorite scene happens to be the card trick, where Corky impresses upon his old school crush, Peggy (the marvelous Ann-Margret) the power of connecting each other’s minds. This is a rather intense scene that shows how Corky is more than just a quiet introvert. The heart carving he also tells her represents a longing for her that she quickly picks up on. Too bad for the pair of them Peggy is not only married, but also Fats has no intention of sharing Corky with anyone.

Magic also boasts a fine score from the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, and is a well made, near great film. Dummies and puppets creep me out period, yet in this case its a man who needs serious help that is the danger here. I am reminded of certain quotes about how men are either scarier than any monster, or are one and the same. The demons within are often harder to overcome than people realize.

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