The “M3GAN” vibes are strong in the latest “Imaginary” trailer footage, especially the opening commercial for the film’s haunted plaything, Chauncey the Bear™. Not that one can blame Blumhouse for hoping lightning will strike again after Gerard Johnstone’s 2023 sci-fi-horror hit gave it a fancy new feather to add to its cap. What’s more, this preview is unashamedly eager to remind everyone of all the great work that directors who are not named Jeff Wadlow have done for Blumhouse in the past, including “The Invisible Man” helmer Leigh Whannell and “The Black Phone” filmmaker Scott Derrickson. “From the guy who gave you ‘Truth or Dare’ and that ‘Fantasy Island’ reboot you’ve almost definitely forgotten exists” just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?
Wadlow’s filmography isn’t all misses, admittedly (select members of the /Film team are ready and willing to defend “Cry_Wolf”), so it’s possible “Imaginary” may yet surprise us. Failing that, it appears Wadlow and his co-writers Greg Erb and Jason Oremland have essentially given us a grislier re-imagining of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Don’t Look Under the Bed,” which is certainly not a sentence I anticipated writing when I got out of bed this morning.
“Imaginary” opens in theaters on March 8, 2024. Its synopsis reads as follows:
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.
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