A young boy which goes through a horrific traumatic experience creates an imaginary friend, then “locks him away” for years, only to bring him back as a college freshman to help him cope with life once more.
Very interesting concept but very mixed feelings regarding its execution. The producers that brought you Mandy (2018) prepared a thought-provoking horror/thriller for a different crowd this time. Daniel Isn’t Real‘s strong plot is supported by an equally strong subplot that keeps the film’s cogs constantly in motion. With Adam Egypt Mortimer behind the camera, and Miles Robbins and Patrick Schwarzenegger in front of it, that thriller will exceed your expectations. Bear in mind though that, as the film is relatively unknown, you won’t be having high expectations.
Two more mentions left: Sasha Lane – if you don’t know her you need to watch American Honey (2016) – shines in front of the camera and I really look forward to the day she receives her Oscar. Last but not least, the incredible Mary Stuart Masterson just takes the film to the next level. Wait until you see what I have to say about her when I review one of my favourite dramas, Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).
What prevents Daniel Isn’t Real from becoming a great indie in this genre is its pace. Pay attention to the opening sequence’s tempo, then each sequence separately, and retrospectively, in the end, wonder how its rhythm felt.