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15.6.10

Danika (2006)

Director: Ariel Vromen
Starring: Marisa Tomei, Craig Bierko, Regina Hall
Rated R  Running time: 80 minutes
Released by First Look Pictures

It's The Sixth Sense meets "Desperate Housewives" in the dull, confusing thriller from Ariel Vromen (Rx). Marisa Tomei is Danika, a working wife and mother of three who just might be losing her mind. She's wracked with fears about her family (husband cheating on her, innocent daughter is a hellion at school, older son is going to catch AIDS from his hot latin girlfriend, etc.) and is growing dangerously preoccupied with a series of child disappearances in her city. And to top it all off, she's beginning to suffer from increasingly violent and nightmarish hallucinations that begin blurring the line between reality and fantasy. Is Danika having visions of the future? Or is she in need of an extended stay at the local nut hatch?

All is revealed in a predictable "twist" ending that makes the preceding 75 minutes of Danika a waste of time.

Marisa Tomei is excellent as the fragile title character, but nothing else in the film arouses much interest. Imagine a Lifetime Television remake of Jacob's Ladder and you'll get a good idea of what kind of movie this is. Lots of J-horror inspired shocks and dreary photography add a dark tone to what is essentially the kind of tedious melodrama that your mom will probably like.

A couple of zombified boobs, a decapitated head or two, and a solid performance from Tomei can't save Danika from a predictable script and tired horror conventions.

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