Movies - Imaginary: A Cinematic Odyssey into Childhood Horror

By Mulder, 06 february 2024

“"Not all imaginary friends are friendly… at least that’s what the characters at the heart of Imaginary are about to find out. I love making films that play with the audience's perception of what is real and what is not, so a horror movie that explores the frightening possibilities of imaginary friends was the perfect sandbox for me to play in. I think the movie we made is filled with unexpected twists, big scares, and above all else, a ton of thrilling fun. DeWanda, Pyper, and Taegen, the characters at the center of our story, are not only believable as a blended family but a blast to watch as the tale unfolds. I think audiences are going to love watching them go toe to toe with Chauncey, our evil little bear. I promise, you’ll never look at a Teddy the same way again." – Jeff Wadlow

Lionsgate, in collaboration with Blumhouse Productions, is set to plunge audiences into the depths of childhood nightmares with their upcoming supernatural horror film, Imaginary. Directed by Jeff Wadlow and co-written with Greg Erb, Jason Oremland, and Bryce McGuire, this spine-chilling tale stars DeWanda Wise and Betty Buckley and promises a disconcerting journey into the realm of childhood innocence gone awry.

Scheduled for theatrical release on March 8, 2024, Imaginary weaves a disturbing narrative that begins when Jessica, played by DeWanda Wise, returns to her childhood home with her family. The unsettling discovery of her old stuffed bear, Chauncey, takes an eerie turn when her stepdaughter, Alice, becomes strangely attached to it. As the seemingly innocent games between Alice and Chauncey evolve into something sinister, Jessica is confronted with the horrifying realization that Chauncey is more than just a plush companion from her past.

The anticipation for Imaginary was heightened by a bold marketing move. The first look at the film was a visually restrained, audio-centric teaser that played exclusively in theaters. Keri Moore, Lionsgate’s co-president of worldwide theatrical marketing, explained the decision, stating, Sometimes, constraint becomes the mother of invention. The teaser, designed to evoke a sense of mystery and fear, successfully piqued the interest of audiences, with Google trend data revealing a surge in searches for Imaginary movie during the opening weekend of Blumhouse's Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Jason Blum, the visionary behind Blumhouse Productions, emphasized the significance of captivating the audience's imagination. The choice to keep the teaser exclusive to theaters, according to Moore, was a deliberate move to reward and surprise moviegoers, creating a unique cinematic experience. While the teaser provided a tantalizing glimpse into the eerie world of Imaginary, Lionsgate assures audiences that a more traditional trailer, offering a deeper insight into the film's themes and plot, is on the horizon. Moore hinted that this fuller look at Imaginary will be unleashed in the next month, promising a cinematic journey that will send shivers down spines.

With a production budget of $13 million and principal photography taking place in New Orleans, Imaginary is poised to become a cinematic spectacle that blurs the boundaries between the imaginary and the horrifyingly real. As the release date approaches, the film stands as a testament to the creative ingenuity of its team and the insatiable appetite of audiences for spine-tingling tales that challenge the boundaries of the known and unknown. Brace yourselves for a cinematic odyssey that will redefine the way we perceive childhood innocence.

Synopsis : 
When Jessica returns to her childhood home with her family, her youngest stepdaughter Alice develops a strange attachment to a teddy bear she found in the basement named Chauncey. It all starts with innocent play, but Alice's behavior becomes increasingly disturbing. Jessica realizes that Chauncey is much more than just a toy...

Directed by Jeff Wadlow
Written by Jeff Wadlow, Greg Erb, Bryce McGuire, Jason Oremland
Produced by Jeff Wadlow, Jason Blum
Starring  DeWanda Wise, Tom Payne, Betty Buckley, Taegen Burns, Pyper Braun, Matthew Sato, Veronica Falcón
Cinematography : James McMillan
Edited by Sean Albertson
Music by Bear McCreary
Production company : Blumhouse Productions
Distributed by Lionsgate (United States), Metropolitan FilmExport (France)
Release date : March 6, 2024 (France), March 8, 2024 (United States)

Photos : Copyright Lionsgate / Blumhouse