Daniel Isn’t Real (2019) is based on the novel In This Way I Was Saved by Brian DeLeeuw, who also wrote the screenplay with Director Adam Egypt Mortimer. Clark provides a musical score that is stunning; it’s almost like the music has a role of its own that brings accentuations and interest to the film.
It’s not cheating if it’s me. Daniel
It’s been a while since I watched a movie that grabbed me in the first 10 minutes like this one did and didn’t let me go until the closing credits. Each scene drew me in, even the more mundane ones.
Warning: Minimal spoilers are coming
Adult Daniel (Patrick Schwarzenegger) returns after Luke (Miles Robbins) unlocks the dollhouse that he locked his “imaginary friend” in after he’d convinced Luke to dump a bottle of pills into his mom’s smoothie. His mom (Mary Stuart Masterson) was unbalanced prior to putting Daniel in the dollhouse, but from what I could see he had some influence on her by proximity.
At first, Daniel’s return seems innocuous, which doesn’t take long to go sideways; think Drop Dead Fred (1991) meets American Psycho (2000). The love interest, Cassie played by Sasha Lane (an absolute beauty), paints Luke with something strange in the background. This is where it gets more twisty, it’s like Daniel is in love with Cassie.
That’s all I’m going to say about the story. The effects are trippy, though some don’t look the best, but not bad enough to spoil my love for this film. The twists are intense and some were unexpected.
I love Daniel Isn’t Real and I give it 4 out of 5 Stars.