Parents' Guide to

Don't Look Under the Bed

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Spooky Disney TV movie may be too scary for some.

Movie NR 1999 100 minutes
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This made-for-TV Disney movie is a fun adventure for tweens who like to be scared. Its TV movie credentials mean it's a little rough around the edges. The supporting cast are hit and miss and the dialogue clumsy -- particularly some of the boogeyman's rhymes, which feel forced. But Chambers' Frances is a likable lead, and younger viewers will find plenty of humor in Hodges' Larry. Valentine's boogeyman is also suitably scary -- if a little too scary for some. Don't Look Under the Bed touches on some poignant and relatable themes. Front and center is the balance between growing up too quickly and recognizing when it's time to say goodbye to your childhood. It's handled admirably, although the subplot around Frances' guilt over her brother Darwin's leukemia feels out of place and even cruel.

It was made in 1999 with a modest budget, and there are far better offerings available in the tween scary genre. Comparisons will be made to Stranger Things and Goosebumps, although it's actually closer to the '90s TV series Eerie, Indiana, both in tone and in atmosphere. But there's a certain nostalgic charm about this Disney scare-fest. Families should close the curtains, snuggle up, and let their imaginations run free. Just don't look under the bed!

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