Daniel Isn’t Real is a psychological horror film featuring the “talent” of Miles Robbins (Halloween, Blockers) and Patrick Schwarzenegger (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse). It’s about a boy who locks away his imaginary friend after something awful happens only for him to suddenly return years later.
This movie felt like it was competing with anything in my room for my attention. I could barely stay off my phone after about 15 minutes of this crap and I am ALWAYS the one to snap at others about paying attention. The film seemed to sense when I was almost on the verge of completely checking out because it would blast a loud sound to make me turn back to the screen. I wasn’t tired, but it was like when you’re falling asleep sitting up and your head bobs and your whole body jumps. If I couldn’t be bothered to devote any energy to actually watching the damn thing, I’m not going to spend any more effort writing about it.
Most of Daniel Isn’t Real is Robbins (Luke) talking to someone or doing something mundane while Schwarzenegger (Daniel) is making kooky faces off to the side. It’s apparent that this is a movie aimed at kids who want to get into the “edgier” side of cinema. Whoever thought Daniel’s routine was at all compelling needs to be blacklisted. The vague backstory for him that is revealed in the last 20mins is an unsatisfying attempt to stretch the film’s meaning into something deeper.
Luke and his thin-as-a-twig artist but punching bag-walloping “tough girl” hookup (Sasha Lane) both don’t get off easy either. Their interactions, meant to be a brand of rebellious, bratty whimsy, come off as being written by someone who has had limited real life experience with standard relationships. Don’t even get me started on that disgusting hair on Lane’s noggin that (the clean-cut, slicked-back son of world famous body builder and international CHAD Arnold Fucking Schwarzenegger) Daniel wants us to believe is eye-poppingly “beautiful”. I’ve seen some rat’s nests in my day but she takes the cake! The characters cast-wide are all fake as fuck; overacting runs rampant throughout. Robbins should stick to douchey background boyfriend status and stay out of consideration for lead roles. I wish this movie wasn’t real.
1 “Damn, Daniel! Please don’t come back at it again no matter what Vans you acquire!” out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2018)
SUMMER OF 84
Summer of 84 picks up where films in the Disturbia style left off, but transports us back to the wonderful world of the 80’s for Stranger Things points. What if your serial killer was your neighbor? Or even worse, what if it was THE OTHER WAY AROUND?! Starring as the “is he or isn’t he?” psychopath, Rich Sommer (Mad Men, GLOW) does an adequate job of keeping the audience guessing. The kids all have their quirks, including one’s particularly touching depiction of being effected by domestic abuse. As a young Manster, you can imagine how much I went through, between my creators fighting all the time and coming to terms with my own tragic existence. Summer of 84 is marred by a winding, sour note ending that takes away from the nice journey. Not quite a slap in the face, but it could have been better.
3 atic atacs out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2019)
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Another vampire movie has appeared from the mist! Only Lovers Left Alive tells the story of two centuries-old vamps reconnecting with each other after a prolonged absence. The likes of Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton (Loki and The Ancient One respectively) bring performances that you just don’t get anywhere else. The supporting cast members (Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt) were on point as well. That’s not to say I’m gaga over this film. The style of director Jim Jarmusch (The Dead Don’t Die, Paterson) is promptly made evident and though I appreciate its uniqueness, it’s not something I would seek out in the future. In conclusion, Only Lovers Left Alive is a welcomed alternative take on an overtrodden subgenre that isn’t entirely fascinating enough to achieve a prestigious rank.
3 of the ol’ Moroccan escapes out of 5