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review by Bobby Blakey

Blumhouse has made a name for themselves in the horror genre with numerous franchises including Halloween, Paranormal Activity, and more recently The Exorcist as well as their latest hit video game-based feature Five Nights At Freddys. Now they are taking on the imaginary friend theme with their latest film Imaginary. The film stars DeWanda Wise, Tom Payne, Taegen Burns, Pyper Braun, with Veronica Falcon, and Betty Buckley from Kick Ass 2, Fantasy Island and Truth or Dare director Jeff Wadlow at the helm. Could this film bring the scares fans want or should it have stayed in their imagination?


Imaginary follows Jessica who moves back into her childhood home with her family and her youngest stepdaughter Alice develops an eerie attachment to a stuffed bear named Chauncey she finds in the basement. Alice starts playing games with Chauncey that begin playfully and become increasingly sinister. As Alice’s behavior becomes more and more concerning, Jessica intervenes only to realize Chauncey is much more than the stuffed toy bear she believed him to be.


I was really looking forward to this film from the trailers and with the idea of the imagination at play left the possibilities wide open to bring it. There are some great moments and I dug how they worked in a bigger idea of the imagination in the final act, but leading up to it I was just bored most of the time. It’s really slow paced initially as it is trying to set the stage and introduce the characters. I understand the importance of it and appreciate it when it adds more substance, but here it could have been and needed to be trimmed down so it could get to the point.


The cast are all decent enough, but Taylor played by Taegen Burns was just so annoying and unlikable for most of the film it just put me off. I get the trauma she was dealing with, and Burns does a good job with the role, but it just goes on too long for little to no reason and adds to the slow cringe building that had me slowly losing interest before ever getting to the good stuff.


When it does set the evil lose it is well executed with some creepy and even fun creatures that I loved in the way they use the strangeness of the imagination to make them what they are. I was hoping for more creepy moments with Chauncy the Bear since he is the forefront of all promotions of the film, but it’s mostly just close-ups of him doing nothing. Have no fear, there are some moments, just not as many as you might expect.  


There are a few not so unexpected twists that work to try to make up for the long drag it took to get to the finale, but nothing that most people won’t see coming. In the end it is a fine film that entertains and brings some fun creepy moments, but also gets bogged down with slow pacing and an attempt to make it too deep and gets lost in itself.


In addition to the film, this release offers up bonus content including commentary, featurettes and more. Grab your copy of Imaginary available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital from Lionsgate and Blumhouse.

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