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Daniel isn't Real

Country: USA, Language: English, 96 mins

  • Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
  • Writer: Adam Egypt Mortimer; Brian DeLeeuw
  • Producer: Daniel Noah; Stacy Jorgensen; Michael M. McGuire; Josh C. Waller

CGiii Comment

Ouch! What a mess!

A 'horror' for the YAs...with Hollywood sprogs keeping it in the family. Patrick Schwarzenegger has inherited all the acting talent of his father. Miles Robbins [and his out-of-control hair] hasn't.

There's a done-to-death good idea behind all the nonsense. An imaginary friend [the eponymous Daniel] is locked away in a doll's house [metaphor for the deep, dark recesses of the brain] and, after a few years, is released for no other reason than to cause a bit of [overly] theatrical mayhem...and, it would seem, to stretch the story out for 96 erratic and irascible minutes.

Adam Egypt Mortimer's direction lacks the vital flow that makes any old horror into a good horror...and, with precision...into a great horror. His idea of surprise-and-scare is mostly composed [and comprised] of [random] flashes of [indistinct] disturbia...remember when the penny dropped in The Sixth Sense? [WTF] Sadly, the only thing that drops here is the tension...and, the credibility. The longer this story is stretched out...the more muddled it becomes.

Of course...there is a fair amount of homo-subtext...and, it is as subtle as a whack on the head by a schizophrenic sledgehammer...but, it goes nowhere. The necessary sexual tension is allayed by both performances and direction...there is no character development, just two vile young men being vile to each other and everyone around them. Good grief...this is meant to be about mental health...neither a smidgen nor a morsel of empathy nor sympathy was either performers or director. The [ridiculous] ending couldn't come soon enough.

Watch Donnie Darko instead!


The(ir) Blurb...

A troubled college freshman, Luke, suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope.

Cast & Characters

Mary Stuart Masterson as Claire;
Hannah Marks as Sophie;
Sasha Lane;
Patrick Schwarzenegger as Daniel;
Miles Robbins as Luke;
Faith Logan as Party Goer;
Jacqueline Honulik as Coffee Shop Girl;
Lynn Marocola as FDNY Paramedic;
Katie Chang;
Chukwudi Iwuji as Dr. Cornelius Braun;
Jamar Greene as Campus Security Guard;
Rosanne Ma as Professor Abelard;
Cara Ronzetti as Joelle;
Michael Cuomo as James;
Andrew Bridges as Richard;
Andrew Ayala as Waterfront security guard;
Nathan Chandler Reid as Young Daniel;
Madeleine Mfuru as Cop;
Daniel Marconi as John Thigpen;
Roger Brenner as FDNY / Emt