Imaginary: a disappointing Blumhouse (review)

Imaginary: a disappointing Blumhouse (review)

A horror film that is drowning in references and struggles to create any originality.

Killer bear cubs are tempting monsters, although this one seems sloppy. His name is Chauncey. And as Jessica returns to her childhood home with her family, her youngest stepdaughter Alice develops a strange attachment to this stuffed animal she found in the basement. It all starts with innocent games, but Alice's behavior becomes more and more disturbing. And Jessica then understands that Chauncey is forcing her to complete tasks to take her to a parallel world.

The dusty design of the teddy bear manages to create its evil doll effect, as if content to torture the viewer with its psychological hide-and-seek. But this new Blumhouse production should have exploited an original imagination… However, no less than ten horror film references emerge explicitly, like so many external signatures affixed to the work. L'uncanny valley of the clown of Poltergeist is exchanged by the teddy bear – a toy manipulated by a troublesome little girl, a totem invoked to the point of erosion. A little magical trapdoor in a hidden corner of the house establishes a bridge between our world and a bluish “Upside Down”, doesn't that remind you of anything? Evil clones of family members who appear with black eye shields, meant to form the teddy bears' eyes? This detail is the signature of Coraline. Add to that a zest of Paranormal Activitya hint ofInsidious, then a cloud ofEsther to get it all across. Imaginary does not shine for his imagination. Teddy had better go back and play pipes with Nicolas and Pimprenelle…

By Jeff Wadlow. With DeWanda Wise, Pyper Braun, Betty Buckley… 1h44. Released March 6, 2024

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