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Friday, December 6, 2019


                                 Starring: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane

                                           Directed by: Adam Egypt Mortimer


  Imaginary friends - they can be sole confidants that are there to aid in the loneliness, or to wreak havoc upon a fragile psyche - any way you dissect their "existence" one thing rings true: they'll always be around, whether you want them there or not.

  In director Adam Egypt Mortimer's mind-bending horror film, Daniel Isn't Real, the audience sees the repercussions of keeping said imaginary buddy at bay for an extended period of time, and what transpires is enough to keep anyone looking over their shoulder. At the start of the film, youngster Luke witnesses a horrific shooting in public that brings forth a new friend to his traumatized mind - his name is Daniel and while his initial actions are that of support, it becomes frighteningly apparent that this created figure has some rather diabolical plans for anyone getting close to his new "real" friend. When a drug-laden cocktail created by Luke (spurred on by Daniel) is given to Luke's mother (Mary Stuart Masterson), she almost suffers a fatal overdose. When Luke comes forward to say that it was all Daniel's fault, she convinces him to lock away his make-believe amigo in his grandmother's antique dollhouse, never to be let out...well, I think we all know how THIS one's going to end up!

 Flash-forward to Luke's late-teen years, and he's still that same fragile little kid to an extent, trapped inside the functioning mind of a college student, and after seeking the assistance of a psychiatrist, he's convinced to draw Daniel back out (BAD MOVE). Things return almost exactly as the way they used to be - helpful at first quickly turns to more and more sinister undertakings - the movie quickly devolves into some unsettling psychological horror and I loved every creepy minute of it. The Terminator's own son (Arnold, that is - Patrick) is unflinchingly effective in his role of the apparitional confidant of Luke (Robbins), and together the duo work seamlessly in their screen-time, giving this story legs in which to sprint to a fulfilling conclusion. Overall, Daniel Isn't Real is one of those movies that brings new life to the scary thought that "those who aren't really there, might just be there after all." Make sure to give this one a watch and consider it a nice holiday gift to yourself!

 RATING: 3.5 out of 5

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