Is the new horror movie Imaginary appropriate for kids? (Why it's rated PG-13)

Imaginary, the newest horror movie from Blumhouse Productions and Lionsgate, asks if there is a sinister intention behind our childhood imaginary friends.

DeWanda Wise as Jessica in IMAGINARY. Photo Credit: Parrish Lewis
DeWanda Wise as Jessica in IMAGINARY. Photo Credit: Parrish Lewis /
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Fans of Blumhouse Productions horror films are eagerly awaiting the release of the latest film from the Blumhouse team, Imaginary. Like other films from the Blumhouse team, Imaginary also features a supernatural spirit, but this time, the villain is a stuffed teddy bear.

Lionsgate and Blumhouse have teased what fans can expect in the film, which follows a mother named Jessica (played by DeWanda Wise) who "moves back into her childhood home with her family." But, things take a dark turn when Jessica's youngest stepdaughter, Alice, "develops an eerie attachment to a stuffed bear named Chauncey she finds in the basement." Ultimately, the family realizes that Chauncey is much more sinister than just a toy bear.

Other synopsis released by Blumhouse also reveal that Chauncey is actually "the imaginary friend Jessica left behind" when she moved out of the house. Even though the movie is about our relationships with childhood imaginary friends, this is far from a kids movie. But could Imaginary be appropriate for kids? Here's what we know.

Is Imaginary ok to watch with older kids?

Another clue is that this is the fourth PG-13 rating for a horror movie within the past year from Blumhouse Productions. Insidious: The Red Door , M3GAN, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Night Swim are all also rated PG-13. If your older kids enjoyed these films, chances are they will also be able to handle Imaginary.

Imaginary was assigned a PG-13 rating because of "some violent content, drug material, and language." This means that the American Motion Picture Association has decided that the movie is acceptable for people 13 years and older to watch. What's interesting is that the AMPA did not say Imaginary has "terror", something that was included in the rating for the last Blumhouse film, Night Swim. This could be a sign that Imaginary will not be as frightening as Night Swim was.

For older kids and younger teens, you should use your best judgement for whether the film will be suitable to view. We recommend watching the trailer and other behind-the-scenes content, as well as any released scenes from Imaginary to get the best sense of what the violence in the film will be like.

Watch the latest official trailer for Imaginary

Imaginary comes to theaters on March 8, but does not have a streaming premiere date at this time. Because Lionsgate has a multiyear movie output deal with Peacock, the film will very likely be streaming on Peacock in a few months. Check back with Hidden Remote for updates about Imaginary's streaming release!

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