Imaginary – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Imaginary – False Bonds and Boring Friends: I Imagine Better …   

Creativity is the mark for an unknown journey.  That innate spark can bring about enjoyment and awe, especially in film.  Through characters and genre, the visual prowess can either be a memorable experience … or just another grasp of saturated material.  In this review, I look at the latest Blumhouse feature.  Even with an interesting premise, Imaginary is an unscary journey of lost moments.

The story follows Jessica (DeWanda Wise) and her family moving into her childhood home.  When mysterious things begin to happen, the family must face certain fears or be lost forever.  To begin this review, we must first look at the studio behind the film.  Blumhouse Pictures is known for pushing the limits of the horror genre.  This has led to character-crafted experiences that stand out within their own unique bravado (Get Out, Insidious, The Black Phone).  Sometimes, they stretch a bit too far (with premise) and lose sense of the journey.  With this film, we come into this world through Jessica’s perspective.  We learn she is married to Max (Tom Payne) who has two daughters, Taylor (Taegan Burns) and Alice (Pyper Braun).  Once the characters are introduced, we head through generic plot progression (family moves to Jessica’s childhood home), to initiate the main plot (Alice forming a bond with an imaginary friend, Chauncy).  Through this unlikely bond, it provides generalized conflict within the family, leading to convenient scenes where Jessica begins to find a connection between Chauncy and her own hazy childhood.  With these layers, we head into a second act where the mysterious connection of the ‘imaginary friend’ is slowly revealed through a mix of ominous moments and heavy score.  This potential of unique tension is leveled out by predictable scare tactics.  For all the buildup of mystery, the lackluster development within familiar genre elements leads to a hollow plotting to an obvious revelation.

Through its heavy foreshadowing, the journey continues through its underdeveloped one-dimensional archetypes and plot fodder.  This simplistic detail leaves the connection between Jessica’s childhood and the mystery to feel like a convenient palette swap for the lazy script.  When the ‘shocking’ truth brings about that revelation, we head into a third act of over-the-top sequences and unhinging moments.  For all the creative aspects unleashed, it feels a little too late within its obvious climax and cheesy epilogue.  Imaginary is a horror film that fails to deliver on its premise.  For fans of Blumhouse or the horror genre, you might find some fun on the big screen.  Otherwise … I really recommend this as a rental.   

Full Score – 2 out of 5 (Rental)

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