With great visuals, Magda sweeps onto our screens with a faint and resonating awareness of sound textures of the exterior space, in which these characters are about to become trapped, and of course the eerie tones of the curse/game they are about to endure in the form of simple melodic hits.
Like with most horror shorts, the final punchline feels rather cramped… the concept is very punchy, but could easily have made a feature film (maybe even a found footage horror?) which would have felt more impactful with the added time to learn the different characters and their dynamics. There’s more to explore here than just the simple game that ends with death…
However, runtime aside, Magda is great. The visuals add a unique flavoring to the film – the focus is tight, and most of the camera angles are unique (ie not Master and Coverage, but rather perspective driven – the audience gets to see the world along with a particular character and/or positioned in a spot from which time/space/information is enhanced). Long story short – the directing is really solid.
Magda, the statute, looms over the film – the statue almost looks artificial but also looks very real. The legend is greatly enhanced and felt but the very authentic performances are delivered… though many often are cut short by the dramatic edits, largely shaped by the short run time of the film.
All in all, Magda is one of the few horror shorts that feels very classical – which is to say that it is memorable, cohesive, and enjoyable.