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Film / Don't Look Under the Bed

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Don't Look Under the Bed is a Disney Channel movie about a girl named Frances Bacon McCausland, an intelligent and level-headed teenage girl who is starting high school one year early. Suddenly, strange things start happening in her quiet little hometown 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.
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The only person who can help her in this situation is a guy only she can see, Larry Houdini. 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, so the unlikely pair decides to put their heads together to find this Boogeyman and get rid of him before he hurts someone.


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The film contains examples of:

  • Children Are Special: Only small children can see Larry (an Imaginary Friend), and Larry mentions that the tetrafuse, a device to rapidly age Boogeymen and make them harmless, is "so simple, a child could understand it. In fact, a grown-up couldn't understand it at all."
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How Larry is restored to normal, and how all Boogeymen can ultimately be defeated.
  • Clear My Name: Frances goes on a quest to prove that she is not to blame for the prank epidemic.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Larry, much to Frances's dismay.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Larry, often, unfortunately for Frances.
  • Dance Battler: Larry employs some dance steps while dodging the Boogeyman.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the Disney Channel's usual films, to a point it's the TV equivalent to Disney's horror feature films like The Watcher in the Woods and the film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes back in The '80s.
    • The content was considered so dark at the time that this was the only DCOM for a while that received the TV-PG rating.
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  • Eldritch Location: The Boogey World, home of the Boogeyman.
  • The Fair Folk: Larry is an Imaginary Friend, a being who can only be seen by small children.
  • For Happiness: Larry makes friends with every kid he can and believes in being nice to everyone.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Frances says Larry's constant costume changes remind her of Darwin's action figures. Very appropriate, as Larry used to be Darwin's imaginary friend.
    • When Frances demands to know why the Boogeyman is after her, Larry asks her if she ever had an imaginary friend. Who does the Boogeyman turn out to be but Zoe, the old imaginary friend she abandoned.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Frances, in the eyes of her family, her best friend, the school and the townsfolk due to being framed by Boogeyman.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Boogeyman.
  • Humans Are Bastards: This appears to be how all Boogeymen feel, logical when one considers that they are imaginary friends whose child stopped believing in them too soon, literally causing them to mutate into monsters against their will.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
  • Insistent Terminology: After the "boogeyman" changes back into Zoe, she corrects Larry's use of the masculine term with, "boogey-person".
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Larry says something similar after he's returned to normal and spots the Boogeyman.
  • Meddling Parents: While well-meaning, Frances' parents are far too inclined to not trust that she's being honest with them about not being responsible for the pranks going on and barely speak to her about it. They seem to prefer to spend their time accusing her of being the ringleader of a gang of hypnotizing delinquents.
  • Nice Guy: Larry, in a Cloudcuckoolander kind of way.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Larry and Zoe.
  • The Reveal: The Boogeyman is no other than Frances's old imaginary friend Zoe, who became the Boogeyman after Frances stopped believing in her.
  • Sanity Slippage: Boogeymen are created from Imaginary Friends whose children have stopped believing in them before they can find and make friends with a new child.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Frances realizes something is up when the boogeyman calls her "Frannie." This was the nickname her old Imaginary Friend Zoe gave her before Frances forced herself to grow up.
  • Wham Line: When the Boogeyman continues to torment Frances after a failed attempt to stop it, Frances says this and it finally stops the Boogeymen for good.
    Frances: STOP IT ZOE!

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