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.
Frances McCausland (Erin Chambers), an intelligent and level-headed girl is starting high school a year early. Strange things have been going on in Middleberg: Dogs on people's roofs, alarm clocks going off hours early, eggs all over a teacher's car, 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. These pranks point to Frances, but none of it makes sense to her. A guy named Larry Houdini (Eric "Ty" Hodges II) offers to help Frances, saying he's an imaginary friend; proven true as children are the only other ones who can see him. Larry tells Frances that she's being framed by the Boogeyman. 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.
The Boogeyman causes a blackout, foreshadowed by the "B"s he spray-painted, except for the McCausland home, which has all its Christmas light on. Frances also loses her friend Joanne, makes an idiot of herself trying to convince others Larry exists and having her family question her sanity. At wits end, Frances checks out "The Boogey Book" from the library for Larry, who decides to build a tetra-fuse detailed in the book to age the Boogeyman into a harmless old geezer. Frances later learns Larry was Darwin's imaginary friend, who still cares about him; however, Frances convinced Darwin to grow up and stop believing. Larry also cooks up Boogey Goo to use as bait and finds it delicious, scaring Frances. She looks for Boogeyman origins in the book, learning a Boogeyman is created when the creator of an imaginary friend stops believing too soon.
Having accidentally stepped in Boogey Goo, Darwin attracts the Boogeyman when he sits in Frances' room, getting kidnapped. Frances and Larry follow to the Boogeyworld dimension beneath her bed. During the skirmish, Larry turns into a Boogeyman, while the other one drags Darwin to a cliff. However, Frances convinces Darwin to believe in Larry again, reverting him to normal. After using the tetra-fuse on the Boogeyman, Frances realizes it's her old imaginary friend, Zoe. Frances stopped believing in her when Darwin fell ill, deciding it was time to grow up. Frances proves she still cares about Zoe, holding her hand and causing her to revert to normal. Frances and Darwin return to the real world, where her parents reveal the same antics that occurred in Middleburg are occurring in another city. Larry reveals that "the guy in his head" just ordered him to go take care of the other Boogeyman; Zoe offers to assist as she was rather inexperienced as a Boogeyman and was thus easy to fight.
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. He then turns on the Christmas lights outside, allowing himself and Zoe to leave. That night, Darwin is sent to Frances by Larry about something that scares him; she allows him to sleep with her. Larry and Zoe watch this with smiles.
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.
When Zoe reverts, she apologizes and says she couldn't resist causing all the trouble.
- 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.