19. Don't Look Under the Bed (October 9, 1999)
Director: Kenneth Johnson
Stars: Erin Chambers, Eric "Ty" Hodges II, Jake Sakson
Lesson Learned: If you lose your childlike sense of wonder, ghouls will tarnish your name and try to slaughter your family.
It's the moment when shit got real: Don't Look Under the Bed was the first DCOM to get slapped with a TV-PG rating by the FCC's TV Parental Guidelines system. Why? Scary scenes, obviously. This is a horror movie, after all, one of the few produced by the network. "You shouldn't waste a lot of time growing up," observes precocious Frances Bacon McCausland (Erin Chambers), the film's protagonist, and one of the most unfortunately named characters in the DCOM universe.
Maybe that's what the filmmakers were thinking, too. How else do you explain the intense dutch angles or the gross makeup on the creature terrorizing Frances's home town? Don't Look Under the Bed tried to fast-track kids to adulthood through real terror. Guess it worked, since, per reports, some parents complained about the frights. Of course, those parents are cowards. —RS