Imaginary Playmate


Rating 2½

Directed by William Fruet

Written by Christine Gallagher

Starring Dina Meyer, Rick Ravanello, Cassandra Sawtell, Kurt Evans, Kay Vance, Bronwen Smith, Nancy Sivak, Jim Shepard and Nicole Muñoz

Suzanne (Dina Meyer), an illustrator for a publishing house, moves to a sleepy community with her husband of one year, Michael (Rick Ravanello), and seven-year-old step-daughter Molly (Cassandra Sawtell). Michael has been sent there to manage a local logging mill, which is experiencing financial problems and is in danger of closing. The workforce does not trust the new owners and they treat him with suspicion. Molly, who is still coming to terms with the death of her mother, invents an imaginary friend called Candace. Following a series of disquieting incidents, Suzanne begins to suspect that Candace is real, causing conflict in her relationship with Michael.


This made-for-television horror film, starring the always dependable Dina Meyer, was premiered on the HBO subscription channel in America in December 2006. It was made by the film production arm of the Lifetime Movie Network. Television movies are all too often dismissed, quite possibly because they are typically assumed to be aimed specifically at a female audience, but the production values are usually high and there is just something almost comforting about them.

‘Imaginary Playmate’ is not exceptional by any stretch of the imagination. It is formulaic and the revelations, as they occur in the story, are easy to guess long before they happen. There isn’t much suspense and the film follows an obvious route, but it is done with some degree of skill that makes it a perfectly enjoyable 90 minutes.

Review posted 24 February 2009


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