Imaginary lands low Rotten Tomatoes rating after first reviews

dewanda wise as jessica, imaginary
Imaginary lands low Rotten Tomatoes ratingParrish Lewis/Lionsgate

Teddy-bear horror/thriller Imaginary has landed a low Rotten Tomatoes rating after its first reviews.

Imaginary, which stars The Walking Dead's Tom Payne alongside Jurassic World Dominion's DeWanda Wise, sees a woman named Jessica (Wise) return to her childhood home.

Jessica discovers that not only is her imaginary childhood best friend very real – but very angry at being abandoned.

The film has not gone down all too well with critics, though, with review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes giving the movie just a 31% rating at the time of writing.

dewanda wise as jessica, imaginary
Parrish Lewis/Lionsgate

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Reviews have not been kind to Imaginary, which also stars Pyper Braun, Betty Buckley and Taegen Burns, and was produced by Blumhouse – the studio responsible for Night Swim and Five Nights at Freddy's.

Here's what the critics have been saying about Imaginary:

Total Film

"Blumhouse's latest isn't un-bear-able, but you still might want to leave it on the shelf... For a film about the power of imagination, it's frustrating how little it trusts the audience to use its own. As such, there's no real sense of dread or suspense."

The Hollywood Reporter

"Imaginary, which starts out as a relatively low-key suspenser with intriguing psychological depth, eventually succumbs to the inanities plaguing so many recent horror efforts... It's a shame because Wise delivers a very strong performance as the beleaguered heroine and has fine support from the younger players, with Braun haunting as the little girl desperate for a friend, even one in the form of a not particularly cuddly teddy bear. She would have been better off with Ted."

Culture Mix

"Imaginary could've been a campy horror classic about a menacing toy that unleashes terror. But this idiotic junk goes downhill quickly and becomes a boring mess with tacky-looking monsters."

Toronto Star

"If you're a true horror fan, this film is not your friend."

pyper braun as alice, imaginary
Parrish Lewis/Lionsgate

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"In its skittery, overlayered trickiness, what Imaginary lacks is a grounded feeling for the psychology that binds children to the friends they make up... Imaginary, despite a few creepy moments, is starved for scenes that make the fear it's showing you relatable."


"Imaginary oversells, under-delivers, and is never anywhere as frightening as the deepest recesses of your own all-time-terrible nightmares."


"Even at its most entertaining, Imaginary has about as much staying power as the figments of imagination that give it its name."

Bloody Disgusting

"Despite the dialogue constantly reinforcing the boundless creativity of its heroine, Imaginary is rather low on imagination of its own, instead opting to chart a safe course filled with familiar tropes and horror clichés."

Imaginary is in cinemas now.

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