Imaginary – Movie Review

Is this the scariest entry in the Paddington Cinematic Universe?

What’s it about?

Jessica has learned to live with the nightmares that plagued her since childhood, and sees a new start in moving her new family into her old childhood home. Unfortunately for Jessica’s mental health journey, there’s a Spooky Bear in the mix.

What’d we think?

People will call it The Spooky Teddybear Movie and they’ll be right, but Imaginary does a good job with a silly premise. There’s quite a bit of drag in the movie’s first half, as the tropes it utilises don’t need much to be established but are given way too much attention at the expense of pacing. Our heroine Jessica is troubled by nightmares and trying to be a good stepmother while juggling a career as a children’s storybook artist and moving the family into the childhood home she barely remembers. Set that up in the first few minutes and you’ve got more time for Spooky Bear, there’s too much setup for the size of the payoff

There are some nice scares shot in bright daylight and gentle colours, but the movie’s closing act kicks things up a notch with a big dash of Nightmare on Elm Street for a much more visually interesting resolution, even if the narrative never really makes it out of second gear. Despite treating the premise as straightfaced as can be, the movie’s potential charm suffers a little as a result – just because you’re not winking at the camera doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with the premise.

A fun time if horror movies are your thing - Imaginary is at its best when it doesn't take itself too seriously, which just isn't often enough.
A raconteur by nature and motormouth by trade, the only thing Pete loves more than watching movies is a good debate about movies. He'll argue with anyone about anything, and enjoy it more than is socially acceptable.
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