HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Daniel Isn't Real Imaginary Enemy
Year: 2019
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Stars: Miles Robbins, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sasha Lane, Mary Stuart Masterson, Hannah Marks, Chukwudi Iwuji, Peter McRobbie, Andrew Bridges, Griffin Robert Faulkner, Nathan Chandler Reid, Daniel Marconi, Chase Sui Wonders, Rosanne Ma, Katie Chang
Genre: Horror, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Luke (Miles Robbins) was a little boy, one day he watched in secret as his mother Claire (Mary Stuart Masterson) had a full-on, throwing crockery argument with his father, who was out of the door and out of their lives swiftly after. Feeling understandably abandoned and confused, Luke wandered out of the family home and into the street, where he stumbled upon a crowd gawping at a crime scene; though he did not quite comprehend what had occurred, he was struck by the corpse of a young woman lying bloodied in the doorway of a diner. Suddenly, someone was beside him: Daniel, who fast became his best friend, except that only Luke could see him, so he can't have been real...

This was the genre follow-up to the director and co-writers' debut horror feature Some Kind of Hate, which operated on similar, imaginary friend lines, though in that the companion who got out of hand was a ghost. Here, the titular Daniel (Patrick Schwarzenegger in the character's adult form) was a matter of conjecture: he might be all in Luke's head as a symptom of his psychosis, then again perhaps all the therapy and medication in the world is no use if the demons in your head are actually external and very real. This balancing act was neatly sustained throughout, so that even as the plot moved into its grand finale you were unsure of where it was going to land, with reality winning or not.

This ran the risk of being tiresome, with a wavering conception of the hero's existence so difficult to pin down you half expected it to conclude with a shot of him standing in the street ranting to himself as passersby gave him a wide berth. In essence, it was the nineteen-nineties comedy Drop Dead Fred played out as a serious chiller, a rich vein of imaginary friendship that succeeded better than Rik Mayall messing about with Phoebe Cates's levels of embarrassment, though in effect that was what was happening in Daniel Isn't Real. Perhaps there was only one path to tread when it came to this kind of material, the shame that certain aspects of childhood cannot be left behind in the adult phase.

That said, Daniel was not a childish character, indeed he had very adult needs, including a sex drive that appears to be satisfied, to a degree at least, when he can bolster Luke into sexual conquests. There are two women in their lives they have their eyes on, one, artist Cassie (Sasha Lane) who has an inkling there is something not quite right going on in Luke's head, but finds that an attraction rather than a warning, and Sophie (Hannah Marks), a fellow student who comes on all edgy and worldly, but is not so edgy that she appreciates it when Daniel dominates and indulges in rough sex and eventual violence. Yes, it was the split personality yarn once again, horror thrived on musing over the duality of its characters from Dr Jekyll to The Wolf Man and far beyond, but there were further layers divined here.

Maybe not in the utmost clarity, and the emphasis on mental illness proved to be a Trojan Horse, both for those around Luke and the audience watching, which kind of threw away a very pointed performance by Masterson who delivered a convincing portrayal of a woman who is a danger to herself and possibly others, but was not permitted to develop it as much when her screen son was the focus. Nevertheless, Robbins was a resonantly pathetic soul in amongst this lunacy, which unsurprisingly from the producers of Nicolas Cage goes nuts fest Mandy took a similar approach to the wilder and wilder imagery. Not many tales of a mental breakdown go as far as bringing about an apocalypse, as if the cracked personality was akin to a splitting of an atom, but that was what Adam Egypt Mortimer and Brian DeLeeuw (adapting the latter's novel) took it upon themselves to commit to, with impressively disquieting imagery on what must have been a fairly modest budget. The atmosphere of doom was its main strength, the performances contributed to that. Music by Clark.

[DANIEL ISN'T REAL will be released in UK Cinemas 7th February 2020, and on Blu-ray and Digital HD on 10th February 2020.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 879 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: