Don't Look Under the Bed
|Don't Look Under the Bed|
|Directed by||Kenneth Johnson|
|Produced by||Don Schain|
|Written by||Mark Edward Evans|
Eric "Ty" Hodges II
|Music by||Daniel Licht|
|Editing by||David Strohmaier|
|Original channel||Disney Channel|
|Release date||October 9, 1999|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Don't Look Under The Bed is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie. It is also the Disney Channel's second and final attempt at a horror film (the first being Tower of Terror) released by Disney (who also created similar themed films such as Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Watcher in the Woods). This film was the first DCOM to be rated TV-PG due to scary scenes.
The movie is about a teenage girl named Frances Bacon McCausland (Erin Chambers), an intelligent and level-headed girl who is starting high school one year early. Strange things have been going on in the quiet little town of Middleberg: Dogs on people's roofs, alarm clocks going off three hours early, eggs all over a teacher's car, sweet gelatin in the swimming pool, and B's spray-painted all over town, including the lockers of the school—except for Frances' locker, which has a B inside it. All these weird pranks seem to point to Frances, but none of it makes sense to her.
The only person who can help her in this situation is a guy only she can see; Larry Houdini (Eric "Ty" Hodges II). Larry tells Frances that she's being framed by the Boogeyman, and he seems to know what's going on better than she does. Frances has a difficult time believing what Larry tells her, because she's always tried to look at the world like an adult, using logic and facts to explain everything, after her little brother, Darwin, almost died from leukemia a few years ago.
Over time, the Boogeyman's pranks become more insidious and incriminating which further ruins Frances' life. Frances ends up losing her friend Joanne, making an idiot of herself when she tries to convince others of Larry's existence and having her family questioning her sanity. The two of them decide to put their heads together to get rid of the Boogeyman.
Then she learns that Larry was Darwin's imaginary friend. But, Frances convinced Darwin in the past that Larry was not real, so Larry starts to turn into a boogeyman himself which is the fate of all imaginary friends who get cut loose prematurely.
Finally, the Boogeyman performs such a crazy prank that the entire town is demanding answers from Frances and her family and turned Frances into an outcast in front of the town and her family. Then Darwin gets kidnapped by the Boogeyman, who hopes to kill him, and Larry and Frances must travel into the mysterious Boogeyworld under the bed to save him and restore her reputation.
For a few minutes, Larry turns into a complete Boogeyman and the real boogyman almost kills Darwin by throwing him over a cliff as Larry held Frances captive with a net. But Frances convinces Darwin that Larry is real and Larry reverts to his normal self. After using a special machine on the original boogeyman, Frances realizes that it's her old imaginary friend, Zoe. Frances had turned her back on Zoe when Darwin became sick and she had decided that imaginary friends and flights of fancy were useless while family and reality was important, which she thought were the only things to save him. She apologizes to the boogeyman and Zoe returns to her old imaginary self.
They all return to the real world and Larry and Zoe have to leave. Frances, whose name was cleared and her life back in order, has become too old and they have to go to new children. Frances is distraught as it was not easy for her to believe in them again so, before Larry and Zoe leave, Larry kisses Frances as a way of showing her that childhood was great but, then, so is adulthood if she keeps a sense of wonder. But they still visit when Frances and Darwin are sleeping.
In the film, Imaginary friends are beings assigned to children who require their aid and companionship for whatever reason. Imaginary friends are invisible to adults and children who don't believe in them, but visible to small children, their assigned children and the imaginative. Imaginary friends do not age and are virtually indestructible; Larry survived an attack by the Boogeyman that would have killed a human. If a child stops believing in an imaginary friend before they are meant to, the imaginary friend will transform into a boogeyman. Once transformed they are dark, monstrous parodies of the beings they once were with exceptionally powerful ones holding grudges against their former charges and seek them out and attempt to destroy them. The only known cure is if the child believes in the Imaginary friend again.
- Erin Chambers as Frances Bacon McCausland.
- Jake Sakson as Darwin McCausland.
- Eric "Ty" Hodges II as Larry Houdini.
- Robin Riker as Karen McCausland, Frances' mother.
- Steve Valentine as Boogeyman, the film's antagonist.
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Michael McCausland, Frances' father.
- Rachel Kimsey as Zoe, the old imaginary friend of Frances.
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Though the movie was liked by fans and some critics,[who?] the movie allegedly received some complaints by parents who found the movie was too scary and dark for the likes of children. Disney apparently had similar problems of producing films with dark themes in the 1980s, especially the 1983 Something Wicked This Way Comes. Once Disney decided to switch to mainly comedies, the movie and other movies geared toward horror, Tower of Terror, were taken out of rotation even during Halloween, though Tower of Terror was presented by Disney, and is not part of the DCOM collection. However, the movie does sometime play around the midnight time slot, Pacific time, on Disney Channel.