Ray is a professional debt collector who is the ‘go-to guy’ if you are looking to make difficult people disappear. The Magician ( 2005 ) is a Found Footage documentary that follows Ray around the streets of Melbourne…
Sometimes Found Footage films break from the horror genre and attempt something new – we like it when this happens 🙂
The Magician is a film I will not be forgetting in a hurry and one I would recommend to any fan of Found Footage.
Originality counts in this business and many films in this genre seem to be stuck in haunted asylums or dark forests. Scott Ryan has taken note of this fact and penned a classic on a $3,000 budget….awesome!
So we’ve got Ray – a thug, a debt collector or an assassin – you make your own mind up on this!
His neighbor is Max – a European film student who agrees to follow Ray around and document his daily life. This part of the plot reminded me slightly of Terry but that’s where the similarities end – this was a totally different creature overall.
The whole film follows Ray’s daily exploits as he strolls around the streets of Melbourne completing ‘assignments’ and giving his rather twisted views on life in general.
Max seems to enjoy the task of filming Ray and prompts him to discuss every aspect of his job and his personal life. We get to see what makes this guy tick and at the same time how he reacts to people he has a connection with.
Make Difficult People Disappear
I should warn you that this film does not pull any punches – when it needs to be violent it is violent!
The first scene involves Ray and Max waiting in a Garage until a guy comes home and parks his car. Once he is out of the car and he turns the garage light on Ray is behind him putting lead through his brain.
It’s a shocking way to start the film and I was a little worried that the whole experience was going to be a shallow violence-fest. It wasn’t!
Not long after the initial scene of violence we see Ray meeting up with an old friend who has a drug problem. This is where the film attempts to paint a nicer picture of Ray’s character.
He ends the meeting by giving his mate some sound advice to leave Melbourne as he fears for his life. He also hands his friend a wad of cash so that he can start up life somewhere else in a new city.
The film does a really effective job of showing us both sides of Ray’s character.
I was surprised at how well written the script on this film was considering it was carried on a $3,000 budget.
Scott Ryan writes, directs and stars as Ray and I must say – the lad’s got some talent!
The film has some pretty serious subject matter all the way through but at the same time it had me pissing myself laughing in certain places.
The one scene that stands out is the scene where Ray is trying to convince Max that Clint Eastwood is in the Dirty Dozen. Ray is certain he is in the film whereas Max is certain he is not! Ray stops the car, gets out and opens the boot to ask the man held captive if Eastwood was in the film or not – classic writing and a classic scene!
Very amusing and realistic interactions throughout the film make this a very memorable Found Footage experience. Scott Ryan seems to fit the role of Ray perfectly – it’s a remarkable performance.
But let’s not forget the other members of the cast – all unknown actors. They were excellent in their roles to!
The film feels completely authentic at times and like a comic road movie at other times. Even though there is a lot of laughter along the way it does seem like nervous laughter at times – you’re always unsure of Ray’s personality and this gives the film a great edge.
Apparently the film was shot over a total of ten days and as I mentioned earlier on a budget of $3,000.
It’s a great achievement and a brilliant Found Footage film – you would have to be a fool to overlook it!
We highly recommend this film 🙂