IMAGINARY is a new horror movie out on Vudu and other PVOD platforms. It’s also still in theaters – in fact, it’s on the Box Office Top 10. I didn’t expect much from it, but I did enjoy it. Read our full Imaginary horror movie review here!

IMAGINARY is out on VOD and digital platforms now. It’s yet another movie being released for home entertainment just a few weeks after its theatrical release. Right now, it’s number 7 on the Box Office Top 10. Unfortunately, with the state of ticket sales, it doesn’t say much.

The fact that it has an IMDb rating of just 4.8 (as of writing this review, anyway) surely doesn’t help.

While I didn’t expect to enjoy this particular horror movie much, I ended up really liking it. Sure, it’s not the best horror movie ever. To me, this is a stronger horror movie than the recently released Night Swim (2024). Both come from classic horror movie producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse.

Continue reading our Imaginary horror movie review below. Find it on VOD from March 26, 2024.

When imagination is too powerful

In Imaginary, we learn just how much power the imagination of a child can have. Or rather, how a malignant entity can exploit this imagination. Jessica (DeWanda Wise) moves back into her childhood home with her new family. She has no real memories of this home as she left when she was just five.

Now she’s moving in with her husband and two stepdaughters. Her youngest stepdaughter Alice (Pyper Braun) very quickly develops a bond with a stuffed bear. His name is Chauncey and she found him in the basement, where he had clearly been locked away a long time ago.

As Alice starts playing games with Chauncey, the playful games seem to be turning sinister. Even Alice’s older sister, Taylor (Taegen Burns), is getting worried. While Alice likes her stepmom, Taylor is not a fan. Mostly due to her loyalty to her mom (Alix Angelis), it appears, so there is hope that it can get better.

Jessica is getting more and more concerned with Alice’s attachment to the bear, so she intervenes. However, it may already be too late. And that’s all I’ll say about that to avoid spoiling it for you.

Imaginary (2024) – Review | Blumhouse Horror

What’s a paracosm?

I learned a new term for imaginary friends in Imaginary when the word “paracosm” came up. This is the more universal term for the very creative and colorful world built in a child’s imagination. In fact, if you look up the word paracosm, it has more to do with an imaginary world than a friend.

A paracosm is much larger than just an invisible friend that kids talk to. The term comes up when a neighbor reveals that she has been doing research on this topic all over the world. She’s even written books on the subject, but no one has ever taken her very seriously.

However, this character is portrayed by Betty Buckley. Whenever the fabulous Betty Buckley is cast to play any character in any movie, I take notice. She may not have much screen time, but she is always important for the story. Imaginary is no exception!

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, her face surely will. Betty Buckley has been in everything from the original Carrie (1976) to Split (2016) and had a brief but extremely memorable role in The Happening (2008). To me, she was the very best thing about that latter movie.

Whenever either Betty Buckley or Lin Shaye is in the cast, you can be sure I will be watching the movie!

Watch Imaginary on digital VOD or in theaters now!

Jeff Wadlow is the director of Imaginary which he also co-wrote with Greg Erb and Jason Oremland. The two latter have worked a lot in teen and children’s stories, while Jeff Wadlow is more of a horror filmmaker. He directed Truth or Dare (2018) and his 2005 feature film debut was the horror movie Cry Wolf.

I loved DeWanda Wise in Jurassic World: Dominion, which wasn’t that great a movie. That’s why I was happy to see her in this new horror movie. Even if I did worry that she was – yet again – a wonderful actor cast in a bad movie. She is still wonderful, but this time the movie was also better than expected.

In fact, I hope we’ll be seeing DeWanda Wise in even more genre productions. She clearly has the chops for it and has also been in Jordan Peele‘s The Twilight Zone reboot already. While we wait to see her in more genre productions (one is in pre-production right now), you should check out this latest release.

IMAGINARY is out on VOD and digital platforms on March 26, 2024. The film premiered in US theaters on March 8, 2024.


Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow, Greg Erb, Jason Oremland
Cast: DeWanda Wise, Tom Payne, Taegan Burns, Betty Buckley, Pyper Braun, Veronica Falcón, Dane DiLiegro, Matthew Sato


A woman returns to her childhood home to discover that the imaginary friend she left behind is very real and unhappy that she abandoned him.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)