lifetime television logoUpon moving into a new house with her new husband and stepdaughter, Dina Myer (from the Saw movies and Starship Troopers) discovers that her house is haunted by the ghost of a little girl. The little girl is mistaken for her stepdaughter’s imaginary playmate, but soon the ghost’s more malicious intentions become clear. The girl was murdered by her father and is trying to avenge her death by… um… doing a bunch of confusing things to the family.

I’m not going to go into the various boring plot twists and turns of Imaginary Playmate – it’s your basic haunted house plot – but I would like to focus on the underlying real horror of this movie, which seems to be the terrifying real-life tale of having to deal with your new stepdaughter and husband, both of whom seem to still love their dead mother/wife.

Far more frightening to Lifetime audiences than a dead child ghost haunting your dream house and ripping your family apart is the idea that your hunky new husband might not be as perfect as you thought and that – gasp! – he might love his daughter from a previous marriage more than he loves you. I know. I had to cover my eyes and shriek several times.

Although at first Dina’s husband seems utterly perfect – he’s both hunky and financially stable — we soon find that he has some traits that would make even a Saw fan scream in terror. Upon arriving home from work, he drinks a beer! And often, he stays late at work in general! And, worst of all, when Dina starts to think that her daughter is being harassed by a ghost, her husband is skeptical!

Just when we’re sure that there’s no hope for Dina – the ghost causes her to miscarry her own baby (which would, unlike her stepdaughter, actually love her for real) – she gets advice from an old friend. Her friend is the opposite of her husband. He doesn’t tuck in his shirt, he is slightly less hunky, and, most importantly, he does what every Lifetime movie lover wants in her life: he hands her a bouquet of flowers, looks her in the eyes and says, “I don’t think you’re crazy.”

In the climactic scene, as you might guess, her stepdaughter has to choose between Dina and her dead mother. The ghost brings the girl onto the house’s roof and commands her to jump off in order to join her and her dead mom. Dina tells her stepdaughter to ignore the ghost and come to her, her fake mother. After much thought, the stepdaughter chooses her living stepmom over her dead mother (it’s a tough call to make).

The movie, bafflingly, ends without telling us much of what happened after this point. The hunky husband who has shown his evilness through drinking single beers and not believing every crazy word that comes out of Dina’s mouth, is left splayed out at the bottom of a staircase, unconscious and perhaps dead. I guess we’re not supposed to care whether he lives or not?