Imaginary (2024)
March 12, 2024 11:04 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] When Jessica (DeWanda Wise) moves back into her childhood home with her family, her youngest stepdaughter Alice (Pyper Braun) develops an eerie attachment to a stuffed bear named Chauncey she finds in the basement. Alice starts playing games with Chauncey that begin playful 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.

Also starring Tom Payne, Taegen Burns, Matthew Sato, Veronica Falcón, Betty Buckley.

Directed by Jeff Wadlow. Written by Jeff Wadlow, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland. Produced by Jeff Wadlow, Jason Blum for Blumhouse. Cinematography by James McMillan. Edited by Sean Albertson. Music by Sparks & Shadows (Bear McCreary and collaborators).

31% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently playing in theaters. JustWatch listing.

Some reviews:
  • 1 STAR - It suffers from the plague of overly convoluted plots that are executed by overly simplistic means: flat expositional dialogue, car commercial visual style, and a seemingly first draft creative concept that never irons out the wrinkles. - Peyton Robinson,
  • 1.5 STARS - Wadlow may have had grand ideas for the production, but what reaches the screen is a collage of partially realized ideas – some good, some bad – that are undermined by plastic acting, wooden dialogue, and an embarrassment of an ending. - James Berardinelli, ReelViews
  • 2 STARS - Not a total catastrophe, but perilously close to being one. Is it too obvious to say Imaginary is simply lacking in imagination? - John Nugent, Empire.
  • 1 STAR - If you’re a true horror fan, this film is not your friend. Peter Howell, Toronto Star
posted by DirtyOldTown (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My kid and I generally go see every horror movie that plays locally, even the schlocky ones. But this is one I think we're gonna skip.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:04 AM on March 12

Parts of the trailer (mostly involving the "game") looked creepy, but then...there was the rest of it.
posted by praemunire at 2:26 PM on March 12

I dunno, it had some decent scares, and the story was mostly fine. The 'dreamworld' was actually pretty cool visually, and the monster was creative visually if a bit wasted, so it had that going for it.

I also give it props for not having characters do aggressively dumb things, which I hate in horror movies.

But other than that...yeah kind of average. The people characters were kind of hollow and the story kind of thrown together, and the digressions with the older daughter and neighbor boy pointlessly extending the runtime.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:28 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]

Don't know that I'm gonna see this one. But. It reminded me of a short story I read a long time ago in a horror anthology. I just found it and reread it and it still makes me shiver. Quick read, strong recommend.

Thus I Refute Beelzy (John Collier) (pdf link)
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 2:31 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]

Oh, nifty little story! I wonder if Mrs. Beasely is a riff on Mr. Beelzy...?
posted by Don Pepino at 6:45 AM on March 15

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