Comparing Ariel Vromen’s Danika to any kind of modern filmmaking style, it would easily be best described as an English language J-Horror flick. Full of freakishly ghostly children, hauntingly disturbed sightings and bloody visions, the only thing this film is missing is the presence of pouring or dripping water.
Danika (Tomei) is a mother with a good job, a nice home, and a loving family. Trouble here is that she is slowly losing touch with reality as she begins to constantly have morbidly disturbing visions of dastardly deeds, one of which involves a child featured on the nightly news as missing. With her own kids, she cautious of everything they do. She is the kind of mother that wants to know the typacle actions of her kids – everything they’re doing, who they are doing it with and when/where they are doing it. Only Danika is a touch too cautious. She is overprotective to the highest degree.
When the visions get in the way of both her parenting and her work, she decides to see a psychiatrist (Regina Hall) for help. Even with pills and therapy, the visions persist and get more and more creative, causing her to lose touch with her family and reality all together.
Danika isn’t as inventive as it tries to be, thanks to a countless supply of these types of films, but it’s far from a failed attempt. This film has enough sporadic scares and psychological tension throughout to entertain a Friday night crowd but a more sophisticate audience may not give it the chance.
Like many other films of this style, Joshua Leibner’s screenplay unsurprisingly calls for a twist ending. It’s not the kind of conclusion that would ruin the film entirely (like High Tension), though you can’t help yourself from wondering if it’s absolutely necessary.