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‘Imaginary’ Review: Blumhouse Cannot Make Something Worse

Another day, another lacklustre offering from the Blumhouse factory. This time it’s titled ‘Imaginary.’ The production line is buzzing, but the quality is teetering on the edge of collapse. Blumhouse, known for hits like ‘Insidious’ and ‘Paranormal Activity,’ has become a brand in its own right, churning out low-budget films that rake in profits but often fall short on quality.

In the past year, the studio’s track record has been especially shaky, with hits and misses that keep audiences guessing.

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Amidst the flurry of releases, ‘M3gan’ surprisingly exceeded expectations in January 2023, only to be followed by a string of disappointments. From lacklustre sequels to uninspired reboots, the studio seemed to be losing its touch. Now, with ‘Imaginary,’ the bar has plummeted to new depths. The film, which arrives in cinemas with a belated embargo, is a mishmash of stolen ideas clumsily stitched together, barely worthy of a theatrical release.

Director Jeff Wadlow, known for ‘Truth or Dare’ and ‘Fantasy Island,’ attempts to build a world of horror with ‘Imaginary.’ The story follows Jessica (DeWanda Wise) and Max (Tom Payne) as they move into a new home with Max’s children. However, their dreams turn into a nightmare when their youngest daughter befriends an imaginary entity named Chauncey. What starts as a familiar tale of childhood fantasy soon descends into chaos, leaving viewers grasping for coherence.

Image Courtesy: IMDb

‘Imaginary’ feels like a relic from a bygone era, reminiscent of bottom-shelf shockers that once lined video store shelves. Despite its modern twist on trauma, the film fails to captivate, stumbling over its attempts at suspense. The final act, riddled with inconsistencies and borrowed elements from better films, leaves much to be desired.

DeWanda Wise’s charm is overshadowed by clunky dialogue, while Betty Buckley’s role as a mysterious neighbour falls flat. Wadlow’s vision of a four-quadrant horror aimed at a broader audience falls short, as ‘Imaginary’ struggles to deliver the thrills it promises.

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