Adam Egypt Mortimer’s psychological horror movie Daniel Isn’t Real shows that an imaginary friend can become a true nightmare.
Daniel Isn’t Real
(USA 2019, director: Adam Egypt Mortimer)
College student Luke can’t cope with his social life and is revisited by his imaginary childhood friend Daniel who helps him overcome his lack of confidence, but he soon wants to have more control over Luke’s body and mind.
Imaginary friends are certainly nothing new, either in horror or comedy movies, but Daniel Isn’t Real sets itself apart from the more laugh-out-loud funny or scary ones by offering a strange mix of both. Complete with some rather disgusting getting-inside-a-body sequences and disturbing monster make-up effects, it’s maybe not the most original take on the theme, but it has a few memorable scenes.
Just as in the game Knights and Bikes, make-believe adventures are where it all starts (and even ends), but it becomes clear very early on that one is in for a dark ride into people’s minds, something the movie presents with an interesting mythological background story, too. So while there’s nothing particularly new, with the characters being mostly forgettable and the story predictable, one should watch it for the special effects alone, as these are nightmarish, to say the least.
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