Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
Today’s Prayer Focus


also known as “The Imaginary,” “Amigo Imaginário,” “Imaginário - Brinquedo Diabólico,” “Imaginario: Juguete Diabólico,” “Imaginary: Neviditeľné zlo,” “Képzeletbeli,” “Nähtamatu sõber,” “Urojenie”
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for some violent content, drug material and language.
Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Supernatural-Horror
Length: 1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: March 8, 2024 (wide release—3,118 theaters)
DVD: May 14, 2024
Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
Relevant Issues

Promotion of the idea that children have a unique access to the spirit world

An imaginary friend of childhood turns out to be real

Child playing increasingly sinister games

What are DEMONS?

DEMON POSSESSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Who is Satan, the enemy of God and all people?

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

What is the Occult?

The Occult—What does the Bible say about it?

Featuring DeWanda WiseJessica
Tom PayneMax
Veronica Falcón (Veronica Falcon) … Dr. Alana Soto
Betty BuckleyGloria
Dane DiLiegro … Chauncey Bear
See all »
Director Jeff Wadlow
Producer Blumhouse Productions
Tower of Babble Entertainment
See all »
Distributor Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)

“Meet Chauncey. He’s not imaginary, and he’s not your friend.”

Literary author and illustrator, Jessica, is returning to her childhood home after being taken away from it many, many years ago. She can’t remember why she was taken or for that matter even why she is returning home, but nevertheless she is returning there with her husband and her stepdaughters, Taylor and Alice.

Taylor wants nothing to do with Jess and resents her every attempt to bond or even have a polite conversation. Alice, though, is a really special young girl. As it turns out, like Jess, Alice has a very active imagination, especially since moving back to Jess’ childhood home. Alice discovers a teddy bear, named Chauncey, and really starts to connect and develop a friendship with the teddy bear. How cute!

Well, sort of. What starts off as just Alice playing with a teddy bear, soon turns into something very troubling. She starts to give Chauncey a voice and even believes that Chauncey wants her to do some dangerous things on their “Scavenger Hunt” list (like do something that will hurt her) so he’ll take her on a trip. Uh huh. Even Jess starts to realize that this imaginary friend is becoming quite problematic.

Is this all in Alice’s imagination, or is there something more sinister at work?

Boxes, mirrors, board games, and dolls….lots of dolls. Why is it that such plain, inanimate objects are the center of practically every horror movie out there? Is there something that entices the imagination about something so ordinary, so mundane suddenly becoming a different kind of symbol, one that stands for evil and the occult?

Since the dawn of the horror genre, inanimate objects serving as conduits (or in many cases coming to life as pure evil), serve as a driving force for scares in horror films, cheap or otherwise. When something we love, something we focus our attention on or gives us joy suddenly turns into something else, something more sinister, we can’t help but become fixated and intrigued by such a notion. “Why did that doll come to life?” “What is the driving force behind the haunted doll?” We know it’s never good, yet the intrigue is still there.

I ask this because in Blumhouse’s latest horror flick, “Imagination,” the object is a stuffed bear. A teddy bear. A type of DOLL. The doll is telling the little girl to do these horrible things on her scavenger hunt. The DOLL is in control of every situation. Your focus is not on the young girl Alice (who, by the way, has just a heartbreaking backstory) or even the stepmom, Jessica. Nope it’s that doll, that teddy bear, Chauncey.

That’s the premise though, right? Chauncey is this teddy bear that is also Alice’s imaginary friend. At first Chauncey asks Alice to do fun kid things on their scavenger hunt, then the truly wicked, demonic side of the imaginary friend rears its ugly, repulsive head. It causes her to try to harm herself (in the most eye-shocking way), it tells her to destroy her stepmom’s livelihood, to hurt the ones she loves the most (I promise this doesn’t spoil anything). These things are not just uncomfortable to witness on screen, especially since, again, a child is at times in extremely serious danger, but they are just unfathomable (almost reminding me of how putrid the film Doctor Sleep was in its approach to harming children).

Putting this all aside, “Imaginary” has a serious identity crisis as a film. Is it a psychological thriller? Horror ? Comedy? All of the above? Argh, so frustrating.

As Mr. Hoose from Plugged In stated, there are moments where great use of horror makes its way on screen, but those are very few indeed. Additionally, the performances are average at best.

I will admit though, the set and scenery in the film is very eerie and the musical score for “Imaginary” is really well done. Still, this film needed something else (other than attempting to harm children on screen).

Content of Concern

VIOLENCE: Note: This is not a full list, this is just a partial list of the violence.

A spider-like monster is seen attacking a woman in a dream. A child is seen with burn scars on her arm (we learn this was from abuse from a mentally-disturbed adult). Two female characters are seen attacking each other. As previously mentioned Alice is seen trying to stab her hand with a rusty nail from a fence as part of her and Chauncey’s scavenger hunt.

We witness a video on a computer of a child describing how his imaginary friend made him cut off his thumb. We briefly see his hand with his missing thumb on screen. A character stabs her hand with scissors (the actual impalement of the scissors occurs off screen thankfully).

A demonic entity possesses a father while trying to defend his daughter and leaves him massive bloodied cuts on his face and arms. A character is dragged off by a demonic entity in the demon’s homeworld and the character is eaten behind a closed door in the world (we hear her screaming and see a pool of blood come out from underneath the door).

A bear is seen attacking a teen (the teen is not injured). Someone falls and breaks their leg. People are seen escaping a burning house.

VULGARITY: F*ck (1), Sh*t (5), A**-hole (1), B*tchy (1), P*ssed (1)

PROFANITY: H*ly Sh*t (1), Oh my G*d (1), G*d (1), G*d-d*mnit (1)

SEXUAL CONTENT: A teen is seen urinating in a toilet (not graphic). A married couple wakes up in bed together. A teen is attracted to an older teen who tends to challenge her to do some dangerous things (drinking, doing drugs). We can clearly gather that the other teen is interested too and wants to take things further.

NUDITY: Female characters where some cleavage baring outfits and a teen wears midriffs throughout the film. The married couple that wake up in bed together are wearing shirts and

DRUGS: A teen encourages another teen to do the drug Molly (she doesn’t give in and we also learn the drug wasn’t Molly at all, just allergy medication).

ALCOHOL: Two teens discuss going to a bar and drinking using fake IDs (they don’t go through with it as they are stopped by an adult). A teen opens a bottle of whiskey from someone’s cabinet but drops it before drinking anything.

OCCULT: Someone reveals that imaginary friends are demonic or spiritual entities that kids grow up with. She also reveals that these entities have gone by different names in different cultures. She mentions that when kids grow up and forget about their imaginary friends, some of these entities grow angry and wait for the children to return (some of these children have disappeared and some have hurt themselves on account of them).

A ritual (aka the scavenger hunt) takes place a couple times by burning items to summon the Never After (the world where all the imaginary friends live). Demonic entities show up in the background behind characters and in the Never After we see a demonic version of a character.

OTHER: We see someone with bloody teeth in a dream. We witness a man turning into a spider-like creature and crawling on the walls. We see some urine on the floor. A teen is extremely rude, cruel and disrespectful to her stepmom. In return, during a ritual, the stepmom says something cruel to the teen to get the Never After to open up.


The central focus of this film is children. While Jess may get quite a bit of attention in the film, Alice is the central character in all of this and there is a great deal of danger she ends up having to face, both physically and spiritually

Using children as the focus of a horror film, putting them in consistent danger, is something that should concern all Christians. The Bible is incredibly clear on how precious children are in the eyes of God. In the book of Mark, Jesus spoke of how highly revered children are…

“And they were bringing children to him so that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” —Mark 10:13-16

And even before in the book of Matthew, Jesus stated the following…

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” —Matthew 18:10

Even our FAITH in Jesus is compared to that of a child’s…

“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.’” -Matthew 18:2-6

As such, it is our job as Christians to treat and raise children up in the Lord, not subject them to evil. This includes using, terrifying, and causing them harm.

Closing Thoughts

I’m not sure I like where the horror genre is going lately. When horror started out it was just for scares (quick ones for sure). You’d go into a film, get scared, maybe be scared for the night and then forget about it the next day. Now, the horror films have become darker and darker. I started to really notice the change years ago but as I start to see horror films focus on demonic entities and the occult more and more (such as the upcoming “The First Omen” or “Tarot”) I started to wonder if I’ve let my spiritual guard down a little too much.

“Imaginary,” while it may not be the best film cinematically, does leave scars, much like the ones we see on a couple of the characters in the film. When a horror film does that, a viewer has to step back and say, “How much is too much?”

“Imaginary” may be such a film where one has to draw the line. There’s violence against adults, children (implied and the like), some really horrible language and dabbles a little too much in the occult. I don’t recommend the film to anyone, particularly Christians. Definitely don’t take children or teens to this film. It’s a hard pass.

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderately Heavy
  • Nudity: Mild
  • Sex: Mild
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate
  • Occult: Moderately Heavy
  • Wokeism: None

Learn about spiritual light versus darkness

What are DEMONS?

What is the Occult?

The Occult—what does the Bible say about it?

Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

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