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Darkness Falls (2003)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres:
Creature Film, Horror
Director:
Jonathan Liebesman Jonathan Liebesman
Starring:
Chaney Kley Chaney Kley
Emma Caulfield Ford Emma Caulfield Ford
Lee Cormie Lee Cormie
Grant Piro Grant Piro
Sullivan Stapleton Sullivan Stapleton

4.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 19, 2005
When I first caught the trailer for "Darkness Falls", I was more than a little disappointed. It was sloppily thrown together and looked like another action flick, rather than a successful horror project. As the release date grew nigh, I began to see more trailers, and even saw a featurette of the making of the film on F/X, of all places. I was still not exactly enthusiastic. I was expecting it to be more like "Wes Craven Presents They", and less like superior horror flicks like "Jeepers Creepers" and "The Ring". I was pleasantly surprised.

The opening of the film gives you the background legend--in the town of Darkness Falls, a local woman use to give small children gold coins in exchange for their teeth, thus dubbing her The Tooth Fairy. One night, her house caught fire and she was hideously disfigured. The children stopped coming. Alas, when two children went missing, the blamed the woman, lynched her, and killed her. But, before her death, she laid a curse on the town of Darkness Falls that has lasted for decades. So, when a child loses a tooth--if that child happens to see The Tooth Fairy make the money/tooth exchange, then that child is immediately marked for death. Anyone who sees her must die.

The girth of the film opens with a little boy losing his tooth and placing it under his bed. He is visited by The Tooth Fairy, accidentally sees her, and is almost killed. Unfortunately, The Tooth Fairy takes her vengeance on the child's mother. The young boy is blamed for his mother's murder and is sent away to a psychiatric facility. Years later, the young boy--now a man--is summoned back to Darkness Falls to assist with a friend's brother who is seeing visions and being stalked by The Tooth Fairy.

This film is largely about redemption. Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) comes back to Darkness Falls to try and right the wrongs that he suffered years earlier at the hands of The Tooth Fairy. He is also wiser. He comes prepared, with bag upon bag filled with flashlights. Why? The only thing that can protect someone from The Tooth Fairy is the light, whether it be a flashlight or a glow stick. So, when the film ends up at an old lighthouse, we are not completely thrown for a loop.

What made this film so enjoyable was the story. Sure, some of the frights are manufactured heavily and pretty cheap, but the whole story of The Tooth Fairy is moderately creepy and interesting enough to keep you glued to the screen, even though the film is barely 75 minutes long. I also liked the way in which director Jonathan Liebesman filmed the scenes with The Tooth Fairy. He kind of used the Steven Spielberg "Jaws" technique, only giving us glimpses of the creature--the occasional unnerving shriek aside--until he eventually hits us with the creature in her entirety. Whereas "Jeepers Creepers" was successful in showing us the creature for a majority of the film, this film is successful in doing the exact opposite.

The one problem I had with this film was that it sometimes contradicted itself (it's a horror flick, so c'mon). I was under the impression that The Tooth Fairy only killed people who saw her. I can think of a couple of victims who never saw her, but were killed just the same. And, since she was able to be injured by the light and by humans, that also poses the question as to whether or not she was a ghost. How can you kill something that is already dead?

"Darkness Falls" managed to scare me a couple of times, and I was impressed with the visual style used by director Liebesman. He has a penchant, evidently, for crafting wicked little fables gone haywire, and it kept me interested throughout. This might have been received better had it been released closer to Halloween, but we need some good, quality horror films at the beginning of the year too, to counteract useless crap like "National Security" and "Kangaroo Jack". You will never look at The Tooth Fairy the same way again. 7/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 05/24/2005, 11:49 PM
An alright movie. Spawned a series of movies about children's "heroes" though. ie Boogeyman. I've only seen it twice, and I think that's enough.
Symx #2: Symx - added 05/26/2005, 01:27 AM
Other than the ending (which I thought was pretty lame) it was a nice movie.
Moggy #3: Moggy - added 07/17/2005, 03:15 AM
i thought it was boring.
grain of sand #4: grain of sand - added 02/15/2007, 07:28 PM
this movie was silly, and didn't do anything for me.... that's just me though
Ginose #5: Ginose - added 08/26/2007, 08:02 PM
Bored the living crap out of me.
Chad #6: Chad - added 10/24/2007, 11:19 AM
I avoided this one for years because... well, it's the freaking tooth fairy. Turns out that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would; it was nothing fantastic, but still decent. 6/10.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added 10/24/2007, 11:37 AM
The film loses a lot of its entertainment factor on subsequent viewings, but that opening sequence is still pretty neat, with the Tooth Fairy hovering up on the ceiling like that. I think I probably like this film less now, but I'd still watch it again on AMC.
Chad #8: Chad - added 10/24/2007, 11:46 AM
I particularly enjoyed the lighthouse scene, up until the whole Street Fighter'ish flaming punch anyway. Watching them creep around and try to stay in the light - that was done damned well.
Tristan #9: Tristan - added 10/24/2007, 12:03 PM
To go ahead and comment 2 years later, I still think the movie was pretty good. 7/10
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