Nature can be peaceful. It can be a place where we can go to relax. A place where we can escape from our busy daily lives. A place for us to just enjoy the beauty that is our planet. Yet, it is lonely, away from civilization, and in some cases, very far away from help. What would you do if you were alone in the wilderness? A better question would be: what would you do if you were in the wilderness with someone that holds a grudge against you?
The plot of Magic Mountains revolves around a broken-up couple ending their relationship with one final mountain climbing excursion. Tensions arise when the ex-boyfriend, Lex (Thomas Ryckewaert), starts to act strangely towards his ex-lover, Hannah (Hannah Hoekstra).
Magic Mountains is a very slow burn and can leave the audience really wishing more was happening faster. It could have been a short film which would have made the film more powerful. Many of the earlier scenes that try to give it some extra mystery could have been cut out. There is just too much time to unpack so little; therefore, the time of the film needed to be cut down.
The most redeemable part of this film was its cinematography. The location of the film is a gorgeous yet haunting forest and mountain. The weather even changes throughout the film, which adds to the symbolism of the film. The film’s shots were also fantastic, trying to capture the little tension that was found in the movie. It really did a great job of setting the scene in every single part of the film.
The acting in this film is good. It has very eerie moments from its two main characters that provide for the severe moments of tension. I would not blame the actors for any of the flaws found within the film. The film struggled with the use of silence. I think that a score is not always needed to help a movie succeed, but in this case, I think that it needed one to fill the spots where tension was highest. Cutting out from score to silence would have been a perfect fit for this film and would have really increased its fear factor.
Overall, Magic Mountains was not my favorite movie. I found myself having a hard time understanding its central message. I think many of the film’s flaws could be fixed just by cutting down the length. Magic Mountains struggles with many things, but if you enjoy a slow-burning mystery, this might be an excellent movie for you to enjoy.
4 out of 10