Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Cast: DeWanda Wise, Tom Payne, Taegan Burns, Pyper Braun, Veronica Falcon, Betty Buckley
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins
Rating: PG13 (Horror and Some Drug References)
Released By: Encore Films
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 28 March 2024

Synopsis:  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. 

Movie Review:

Given Blumhouse’s extraordinary box-office records in 2023 especially with the success of M3gan, the artificial intelligence doll and creepy animatronic mascots that come to live in Five Nights At Freddy’s, Blumhouse looks set to ignite our imagination with yet another creepy horror pic for the new year. Unfortunately, Imaginary for a lack of better word is purely unimaginative and totally déjà vu.

The first quarter of the movie introduces us to Jessica (DeWanda Wise from Jurassic World Dominion), a children’s book author and stepmother to teenager Taylor (Taegen Burns) and younger sister Alice (Pyper Braun). Their whole family has just shifted into Jessica’s childhood home and before long, Jessica’s musician husband Max (Tom Payne) left for tour and we laughingly never sees him again. Meanwhile, Alice befriends a teddy bear in the basement named Chauncey (sounds like an expensive champagne but it’s not) and becomes attached to him.

Expectedly creepy, nasty things happened and it has something to do with a young Jessica and her dad who has somehow went mad. There’s also a mysterious old woman named Gloria (Betty Buckley) who conveniently happens to be Jessica’s former babysitter and of course she knows things. There’s the girl’s mentally-ill mother and Taylor’s dorky boyfriend appearing briefly for one scene respectively. Both characters sadly contributing nothing significant to the end product. Lastly, there’s a Never Ever world realm that reminisces of a cross between Insidious and Labyrinth.

Apparently there are none to too little shock value that are deemed worthy to a seasoned horror fan. We can honestly declare the first hour is quite a drag consider there’s a whole lot of talk among the characters than anything shocking or terrifying being displayed on the screen. Ok fine, there’s a handful of mild jump scares littered throughout that are poorly staged just to be clear.

Doing a movie about a possessed imaginary friend seems like a good idea for a horror movie. I mean most of us have an imaginary friend when we were young. However, director and co-writer Jeff Wadlow (Fantasy Island, Truth or Dare) has trouble conceiving one that convincingly link up elements liked repressed memories, possessed spirit, creepy illustrations and alternative haunted dimension into one coherent entertaining horror.

While we applaud Wadlow’s enthusiasm in showcasing physical effects, the creature which resembles a eight-legged monstrous bear ended up looking like a cheap Blumhouse prop. Honestly, the CGI rendered bear in Cocaine Bear is far more gory and scary than this mishap.

Indeed, DeWanda Wise and the two young actresses did their best mouthing dreadful dialogue and screaming their lungs out while confronting the evil creature but all their efforts are wasted in this uninspired and weak horror outing.

Movie Rating:




(Another month, another “unimaginative” Blumhouse horror. You won’t miss much if you plan to skip this)

Review by Linus Tee


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