Magic (1978): REVIEWED by BRYAN SCHUESSLER
Magic (1978), directed by Richard Attenborough, was a psychological masterpiece. I truly loved this film. The screenplay was adapted from a novel written by William Goldman. The doll really creeped me out though. I remember seeing a commercial for it when I was much younger, probably about 8 or 9 years old and having nightmares over it. Just from seeing the image of a doll that I thought was killing people. What a creepy premise!
A failing magician uses a dummy for a ventriloquist act that develops develops into a hit performance! But the dummy, Fats, starts to take over the mind of Corky (Anthony Hopkins)and the mayhem ensues. Burgess Meredith did a fine performance as well. You may remember him as Rocky Balboa’s manager in Rocky.
And to think that a movie about a doll killing people would be made years later…Yeah, I am talking about Child’s Play, folks! Don’t you dare say Puppetmaster! Or throw Gepetto into the mix and tarnish the almighty Disney franchise!
Anthony Hopkins really carries this whole film and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Drama. He should have won! He was brilliant in Magic.
Now some may argue and say that Magic is not a horror film, but I disagree. This film has so many horrorific elements in it that it is better than many horror films out there. Hopkins wowed me with his performance in Magic and it gave me some historical perspective to just how incredible an actor he is and why he was chosen by Demme for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. There was not much blood in this film, but that did not really matter. You could cut through the tension with a knife in some scenes.
Go rent this film and enjoy some creepy fun. I would swear that Hopkins was a professional ventriloquist.