Darkness Falls (2003)

“All this for a fucking tooth.”

In the town of “Darkness Falls” (There’s a name that will attract tourists), a kind old woman named Matilda Dixon used to give coins to children for their baby teeth out of kindness. One day she was caught in a house fire and became badly scarred; so much so she wore a porcelain mask to cover her wounds and hid in the dark due to sensitivity from sunlight. One day two children went missing and the town blamed her, and hung her. Before she died she inflicted a curse on the town until one day the two missing children appeared. The town hid the secret until modern times. We meet Kyle who encountered the demonic tooth fairy when he was a boy barely making it out alive and became institutionalized. Twelve years later, his childhood girlfriend Caitlin (Emma Caulfield) is experiencing an ordeal as her little brother is afraid to sleep claiming the tooth fairy will get him.

Kyle comes back to town to help him, but the tooth fairy is back to settle an old score with Kyle. After being poorly received by critics and the general public, “Darkness Falls” quickly faded into the darkness at the box-office and onto store shelves. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this wasn’t as bad I had heard from literally everyone I talked to about this movie. The mood setting is perfect presenting very dark and suspenseful atmosphere needed for this type of film. At times I was very tense especially in the first half of the movie which very well displays the terrifying aspects of the “Tooth Fairy”. I love how the filmmakers take a childhood fairy tale and turn it into a terrifying storyline that people could really think about. It’s terrifying enough as a child sleeping alone in a dark room, now you have to sorry about the tooth fairy coming to get you.

The first fifteen minutes of the film pretty much establish the entire storyline ahead telling the legend of Matilda Dixon and showing Kyle’s first terrifying encounter with the demon. I have to admit I was jumping in fright from the taut scenes of the tooth fairy hunting Kyle through his dark house and the scene of where she’s clinging to the doorway screaming as Kyle is safe in a bright room made me gasping in awe. The movie is simple and just a monster movie and nothing else; but it does look like “Revolution Studios” is attempting to create a new horror icon which seems ultimately futile. The movie isn’t that interesting a launching pad to introduce this character. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” which this is similar to, was an incredible movie and became a classic, this is fun, but hardly a classic.

I really enjoyed the scenes where the tooth fairy was hunting her victims; especially the great scene where Kyle and other survivors are attempting to leap off staircases and the tooth fairy is swooping down and grabbing them like a hawk. Also, I really enjoyed the scene in the police station where the tooth fairy massacre’s the cops one by one. The tooth fairy is a very cool and creepy horror figure and the porcelain mask really accentuates her eerie presence. “Darkness Falls” has real potential to be a true horror classic but the studios throw it all out the window. I would have loved to learn more about how the town was hiding the legend and would have loved to see how the town reacts to the “Tooth Fairy” and her horrifying legend. We never truly felt that the town was in on the legend except for the main characters who seemed to be the only ones aware of her.

There were a lot of plot holes that made this go into the figurative trash heap; for instance: why is the hospital so empty when Caitlin’s brother is hiding under the bed? Where’s all the other nurses and doctors and security? Where’s Caitlin’s little brother’s parents? Why did the tooth fairy kill everyone when certain characters state she only kills people who look at her face? How did Kyle appear in the elevator so quickly when he was far from the hospital in jail? I was really annoyed by these large plot holes which tended to distract me at certain times. The main characters are appealing and very interesting but there’s little to no emphases on any of them. Emma Caulfield is an interesting actress and pretty hot, but I didn’t get what her character was about.

She only served as an emotional support for Kyle and her little brother which annoyed me because she’s such a good actress as Anya in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Cheney Kley could have been a great leading man if his character of Kyle wasn’t so one-dimensional; I didn’t get the sense of heroism or his tortured personality in the movie which would have helped the quality. The filmmakers don’t give the story time to settle and really make an impact at an hour and twenty-six minutes; instead they hurry the movie along without stopping and throw the creature effects at us non-stop. This is a very flawed but entertaining and cheesy monster flick that would be fun to watch around a crowd with some popcorn. It’s a good time killer, and a hoot for some cheap scares.