Premise: A family find themselves terrorized by their eight-year-old son’s imaginary friend.
The Parsons family is the average middle-class family from the ‘burbs with a stay-at-home mom Elizabeth (Keegan Connor Tracy) who cares for her son Joshua (Jett Klyne) as well as for her mother with a terminal illness. Her husband Kevin (Sean Rogerson) is the family provider, who is less in the home present physically and emotionally.
When Joshua starts talking about an imaginary friend, Z, Kevin dismisses him as something ‘cute’. What is not cute is how Joshua becomes a different child because of Z; his behaviour eventually gets Josh suspended from school. Elizabeth becomes rightly concerned and takes Joshua to a therapist (Stephen McHattie), yet again Kevin dismisses Elizabeth’s concerns. As time goes on, Joshua’s imaginary friend becomes more and more hauntingly ‘real’, and the family is no longer safe.
The film includes some very creepy, tense moments including a scene that made me squeal just a bit. There are other genre elements that work well in the film, which help the story progress. Where I wish the film did better was in the character development. Someone like McHattie can help drive the narrative farther, if his character had been given more screen time, and depth. Nonetheless, it is always a treat to see him in a film.
Although a familiar premise, Christensen directs a film that is full of chilly and creepy surprises. It also incorporate the clever special effects. These effects work really well in introducing us to the menacing Z. It succeeds in the reminding us that personal demons are the most dangerous kind. The film will certainly please fans of suspenseful, psychological horror.
Z will have its premiere at BITS on November 26, 2019.