1. Scary Subject Matter!
First of all, it deals with one of the basic scary things to all children in the history of almost ever, the Boogeyman. For centuries parents would tell their children that if they didn’t behave, the Boogeyman would come from under their beds to take them away! Talk about frightening.
2. Psychologically Named
All three of the kids are all named after people in history who made an impact in psychology. Our heroine is Francis Bacon McCausland— Francis Bacon was a 17th century philosopher (among many other things) who dealt with reason and logic, the oldest son, Bert (Albert) could potentially be named for Albert Einstein and the youngest child’s name is Darwin. The parents are very logical, behaviorist folks as well, thinking that there is a reason for everything happening!
3. Imaginary Romance
It’s very clear there is sexy tension between Larry and Francis, despite Larry being imaginary. As things go on, Larry tells her that he’s worried about her safety and he doesn’t even want her getting involved anymore because he doesn’t want to get hurt! Don’t EVEN get me started on the ending!
4. Horror Movie Features!
Things jump out of nowhere and scare the crap out of us. Between sounds, hands and other things, the sheer jumping factor of this kids’ movie is astronomical!
5. Bound for Insanity
They made Francis seem like she was crazy. She was the only person older than 10 who could see Larry and she was constantly trying to get people to see that he was there! And then she would turn around and he’d be gone! And of course nobody believed her when she said anything about it! Talk about a psychological screwdriver in the head!
6. We Don’t SEE What’s Haunting Francis
The fact that we do not actually SEE the Boogeyman entirely until 45 minutes into the movie is terrifying. I mean, think about it, only seeing creepy feet and hands, laughter, and whispers… it’s unnerving!
7. That “Being Watched” Feeling
Things moving on their own when nobody is looking. Seriously, the dolls? Holy crap! That is horrifying.
8. Real Life Horrors
Francis told Darwin to stop believing in imaginary friends because of his leukemia. She wanted him to believe in something real like science and the medicine. Like, wow. That’s a plot twist for an adult movie, definitely not a Disney channel original!
9. Real Life Fears
Also when it came down to it, the movie expressed the fears of another family member dealing with something scary like that. Francis confides in Larry that she was grateful that her bone marrow wasn’t a match because she was afraid.
10. There Are Consequences to Growing Up
Larry starts to turn into a Boogeyman. Seriously, the hero of the film is turning into a monster, too. Bit by bit, his voice, his eyes, his nails and his teeth start changing as a consequence of Darwin not believing in him anymore.
11. Terrifying Villian
The actual Boogeyman is so seriously creepy. Slimy looking skin, weird things coming out of his face, the hands and teeth and nails. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of!
12. More Consequences to Growing Up
Turns out, the Boogeyman is ACTUALLY Francis’ imaginary friend. After Darwin got sick, she had to stop believing in Zoe, her imaginary friend because she felt like she had to grow up. She in turn, told her little brother to do the same thing.
13. Not a Happy Ending
Childhood comes to an end and it’s not always a happy ending. After Francis helps Larry defeat the Boogey-person, Zoe and Larry tell her that now that everything’s okay, she won’t be able to see them anymore because she has to grow up. That childhood has to come to an end and we just have to go on with our lives. As if to prove that she IS too old, Larry kisses her before disappearing! For a child? That’s not a very satisfying ending.
So all in all, I ADORE this movie still. I’m still secretly hoping that Disney decides to release it on DVD. It’s definitely a movie that would have scared me if I was really young when it originally aired, but it’s become a cult classic to twenty-somethings like me!