by Brandon Christensen

Life at home during a pandemic can get kind of boring and you find yourself stumbling across all sorts of media you might have otherwise overlooked. For example, I had no clue that Shudder had a whole bunch of their own original content until just recently! I know, I know, shame on me, right? Anyway, this is how I found out about the streaming service's original film Z, the story of a young boy's evil imaginary friend and the havoc it wreaks on the family's lives.

While the plot of Z isn't entirely original or refreshing, I found it to be entertaining nonetheless. The acting was good, especially from Keegan Connor Tracy, who I felt carried the movie, and the plot moved along at a quick enough pace that I never found myself wanting to fast forward to the good parts. I think I've mentioned it a few times before that often times children in horror movies tend to be annoying or unnecessary, and of course, in a movie about a child's imaginary friend, the part is necessary. Fortunately for viewers, young Joshua Parsons (played by Jett Klyne) is quite a tolerable child actor and adds a good amount to the creep factor throughout the film.

I didn't really have too much beef with this film aside from the child therapist. He felt like a wholly empty character and actually irritated me as there's a pretty important piece of information he decides to hold onto as opposed to doing his job and trying to assist the poor kid and his mother who obviously, and so desperately, need his help. I also found the husband to be a bit annoying, but he is more of a background character anyway as the son, wife, and imaginary friend are more of the focus of the film.

For a low budget flick there are actually pretty decent effects, decent jump scares, and there's a little twist that leads into the final act. Some viewers will see it coming from a mile away as I did, but the film ends on an entertaining enough note to warrant a thumbs up from me. I went in with pretty low expectations, but came out pleasantly surprised on the other side. Check out Z on Shudder if you're a subscriber, or you can also rent on Amazon.

Stevie Kopas, HMS

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About the reviewer:

Stevie Kopas was raised on a healthy mix of good music, horror culture, and post‑apocalyptic media. Stevie is a caffeine addict, an avid gamer, and yes – she thinks Xbox is better than Playstation. Stevie is also the author of The Breadwinner Trilogy, the Amazon bestselling Dystopian series and she has written several short, horror stories for the charity horror anthology At Hell’s Gates. Stevie enjoys talking all things horror and being internet stalked on Twitter (X) @ApacoTaco, Facebook or through email at typeitordie@gmail.com. Be sure to check out her official site at www.someonereadthis.com