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Imaginary presents a promising concept that unfortunately fails due to its lacklustre execution.

The story sees Jessica (Jurassic World: Dominion’s DeWanda Wise) revisiting her childhood home, only to realise that the imaginary friend she once left behind was not a figment of her imagination, but a real entity – in the form of teddy bear called Chauncey – harbouring feelings of resentment towards her for abandoning him.

The premise holds great potential, with the marketing even hinting at a captivating and imaginative psychological journey brimming with surprises.

In the climactic final twenty minutes, it finally fulfils some of its promise, offering a burst of creativity and visual excitement (serious Tim Burton vibes).

Nevertheless, the journey leading up to this climax sometimes felt like a laborious task, testing the patience of the audience along the way.

Pyper Braun’s portrayal of Alice – Jessica’s step-daughter and daughter of her husband Max (The Walking Dead’s Tom Payne) – emerged as a standout element in the film. Despite the unpredictable nature of child actors’ performances, Braun’s depiction infused her character with depth and authenticity, effectively captivating and anchoring my interest in the unfolding narrative. If only just.

Imaginary will succeed in delivering a fair share of entertainment for horror fans simply in search of frequent jump scares, of which there are plenty.

If you are willing to overlook the film’s pacing challenges and occasional mis-steps, you might just find yourself enjoying the viewing experience for what it is.

But for most, it’ll be hard to imagine this will be anything but a major let down.


ESP Rating: 2.5/5


Mike Clarke


Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Dewanda Wise, Pyper Braun, Tom Payne, Betty Buckley, Taegen Burns & Dane Diliegro

Running Time: 1 Hr 44 Mins

Director: Jeff Wadlow


Go to for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux

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