As a horror enthusiast, “Imaginary” was disappointing. I love the horror genre, but the film was just not scary. It suffers from weak writing — the film was bland and unwatchable.  

The film was directed by Jeff Wadlow, who also co-wrote the film with Greg Erb and Jason Oremland. More notably, the film was produced by horror juggernaut Blumhouse, the studio behind movies like “M3GAN” and “The Purge,” which has recently been criticized for creating generic horror films. “Imaginary” falls into this category — it attempts and fails to provide a nuanced commentary on what it means to be a stepparent and the effects of trauma. 

After experiencing continuous nightmares, Jessica (DeWanda Wise) decides to move to her childhood home with her husband Max (Tom Payne), and two stepchildren Taylor (Taegen Burns) and Alice (Pyper Braun). In the new house, Alice befriends Chauncey, a forgotten teddy bear, with connections to Jessica’s past. However, things take a turn for the worse when Chauncey sets Alice on a scavenger hunt so he can take her to a “secret place”… forever. 

The glaring issue with “Imaginary” is its writing. Conceptually, the film is interesting and had the opportunity to present a unique take on the horror of imaginary friends. Yet, the film is executed poorly. It feels like any other generic horror and relies on its use of cheap jump-scares — which loses its effect after the first one. 

The film is incredibly predictable, with a plot hole that is hard to overlook. The plot hole renders the twist at the end of the second act confusing, as well as the lore of imaginary friends convoluted. “Imaginary” also has the characters make decisions that only further the plot, and has a subplot that overwhelms the main one. 

The film lacks what makes watching a horror movie fun — and will eventually find itself forgotten at the bottom of the bargain bin. If you’re looking for some scares, this film will leave you straight-faced. 

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