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What lies beneath Raimi’s pic

'Boogeyman' marks first pic for helmer, Senator

Sam Raimi is already worrying about what’s lurking in his closet or underneath the bed.

“The Boogeyman” will be the first horror production under the “Spider-Man” helmer’s newly inked Senator deal.

Raimi and partner Rob Tapert will produce the pic, which is expected to start shooting this fall. Raimi takes up helming duties on “Spider-Man 2” for Sony in early 2003.

Pic, penned by Eric Kripke, is the story of a young man who is traumatized by memories of terrible things he experienced as a child in his own bedroom. Years later, after the tragic loss of his father, the young man reluctantly returns to the house and faces his fears of a being that could be real or merely a figment of his imagination.

“The boogeyman is a mythical character that is the stuff of stories of generations,” Raimi tells Variety. “He is a horrible creature that consumes human beings whole and exists in a thousand different forms in children’s imaginations, living in the shadows of the clothes hung in the closet or in the darkest regions underneath the bed.”

Adds Raimi, “We wanted to have a company in which we can deliver the really intense, unique type of horror film which I have always made but have fallen any from recently.”

Raimi began his feature career as the creator of “The Evil Dead” franchise. That pic and the two that followed became cult hits.

“The fun for Rob and I when we sit in the audience watching a horror film is that gripping, gut-wrenching feeling of fear,” Raimi says. “That’s what we want our films to do.”

Though no budget range or number of pix have yet been specified under the deal, Raimi expects the projects to be “reasonably priced,” with “Boogeyman” budgeted in the $18 million-$20 million range.

Writer Kripke wrote and directed the award-winning shorts “Truly Committed” and “Battle of the Sexes.”