Review: Abrakadabra (2018)


Abrakadabra (2018)

Directed by: Luciano Onetti, Nicolas Onetti | 70 minutes | horror | Actors: German Baudino, Ivi Brickell, Gustavo Dalessanro, Raul Gederlini, Clara Kovacic, Juan Bautista Massolo, Eugenia Rigón, Pablo Vilela

Despite the only 70 minutes that ‘Abrakadabra’ counts, it is still a very long session. Painfully slowly we sneak into the plot (?) of this pastiche of a 1970s C-movie. More precisely an ode to the Giallo, the genre that had a cult following in Italy thirty to forty years ago and often a mix contained between crime, eroticism and horror. horror? Well, take that with a grain of salt, because there’s very little to shiver in ‘Abrakadabra’. And when that does happen, it is portrayed in such an (on purpose?) amateurish way that you wonder: was this really the intention or are the directors, the brothers Luciano and Nicolas Onetti, laughing at the fact that they cut this – and still have a nice release of a sticky film?

Not to mention the script and acting, with sound edited on purpose and bumbling flashbacks and close-ups (of a ringing telephone!). With a protagonist, German Baudino, who constantly looks out of his eyes as if he is suffering from constipation. Difficult to look at as an art form.
The story, if you can call it that: an illusionist as a boy saw his father, Dante ‘The Great’, accidentally die during a failed trick on stage. He follows in his footsteps, but suddenly people are murdered and he is the main suspect. So we get scenes in a bar, drunk girls, gratuitous sex and slasher killings (ahem…).

According to Harry Houdini, ‘the mind believes what the eyes and ears see’. Well, with this film you can hear and see it and in the end you can’t even reach it with your brain. Lorenzo’s father’s grave bears the inscription: “Nothing is as it seems.” Well, with ‘Abrakadabra’ that is quickly filled in. It doesn’t look like anything, if only it looked like something! The detective in the story also contributes: ‘After ruling out the impossible, only the truth remains.’ Well come on, here’s the truth: it’s almost an impossibility to sit out this crap. Let’s just hope this film is thrown into oblivion very soon, simsalabim!

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