Imaginary – Review


Imaginary is the latest horror film from Blumhouse Productions, and they’ve brought in the director of Truth or Dare for this one, so in theory you know not to go in with high expectations.

Blumhouse are starting to dominate the genre, so I’ve become used to seeing their name on most horror films. They’ve been getting a couple of wins here and there, but they seem to be making many by-the-number horror films.

This one isn’t terrible with the concept alone, there have been several cases of children having malevolent imaginary friends that scare them, so basing a horror film around that was a good idea. That’s basically the general plot, it centres around the stepmother of a family played by DeWanda Wise who has to deal with her new stepchildren, including the youngest daughter who has developed an imaginary friend after they moved back into their old family home. The imaginary friend is called Chauncey, mostly represented by a little stuffed bear that the girl carries around.

I’ll start by saying some positives- the acting isn’t too bad, it’s a decent idea for a film, some of the special effects aren’t too bad, and some of the imagery is really well done, it must have cost a lot to make it or at least took up a large portion of the budget. There are a few good moments with some tension, but this is a prime example of taking a good concept and watering it down. This especially is the case towards the end of the movie, where it goes totally off the rails.

The biggest problem I have with this is that, for a horror movie, it is kind of toothless. There are large portions of this film where not much happens at all, and without giving away the total number of kills, Chauncey is one of the least effective horror movie villains ever! That certainly robs him of a lot of his pathos.

There are also a couple of plot twists, one of which is predictable beyond belief, and the other is so insane and out of nowhere that  I had to do a double take!

I think they wanted to remind you of films like Nightmare on Elm Street, but it more reminded me of the South Park episode of Imaginationland- in fact I’m sure that’s where a lot of their ideas came from. It seems like they took a lot of the parts of that episode and turned it into a horror film.

I didn’t come out of this film thinking it was horrible, I’ve seen way worse horror movies than this one, and I do like the fact that we’re getting a movie about stepparents where they seem to actually be decent care takers.

I will say, the way they do the ending was actually pretty good. That kind of got my attention in a way that I wasn’t expecting, though it’s rather undercut by another idea, and rather ironically for the subject matter, it feels like it’s lacking in terms of ideas. You have a concept where you could design whatever you wanted, but you don’t really do that much with it…

Imaginary isn’t awful, but it’s not that good either. It’s a pretty down-the-middle horror film and I’ll probably forget about it in a few weeks. I would say that it’s kind of a bad movie in the sense that it inspires not much of anything, but you could do a hell of a lot worse.
Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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