DARKNESS FALLS-United States/Australia-2003
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Story by Joe Harris
Screenplay by John Fasano, James Vanderbilt and Joe Harris
Let me start this review by telling you what’s good about this movie. The idea of a vengeful spirit known as ‘the tooth fairy’ is actually a pretty good one. Seriously, think about it; we’re talking about a being that comes into your room at night, places her hand under your pillow while you are sleeping and takes away your tooth, one of the last remnants of your childhood. Then, she places a gold coin under your pillow in exchange for that tooth. It all sounds great when you’re a kid; but as an adult it sounds like someone just broke into your child’s room, molested them and paid them off to keep them quiet. So yes, the legend of an old woman named Matilda Dixon aka ‘the tooth fairy’ who places a curse on the town of Darkness Falls to exact her revenge for her hanging is actually kind of scary. That’s what’s good about this movie.
Now, allow me to tell you what’s bad about this movie; every-fucking-thing else. Let’s start with the length. The movie is 86 minutes, including the credits. Without the credits the movie is a mere 75 minutes. Are you serious? If I had paid to see this movie in a theater I would have been seriously pissed off. There are TV shows out there that are longer than “Darkness Falls”.
Then there’s the acting; or in this case the lack thereof. The acting in this movie is so painful to watch I thought I was having my teeth pulled. Hey! Back off, tooth fairy bitch! I said I thought they were being pulled! The late Chaney Kley (“Legally Blonde”) and Emma Caulfield (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer“) give performances worthy of bad daytime television. That’s easy enough to do since there is really no such thing as good daytime television. In other words their acting sucked worse than dry socket.
Finally, let’s talk about the kid in the movie. Lee Cormie plays Michael Greene, the latest object of the ‘tooth fairy’s’ scorn. I have always hated when the filmmakers cast these overly cute kids with overly cute voices in their movies. But in the case of “Darkness Falls” they’re not even trying. This is one butt-ugly kid with one butt-ugly annoying voice. I honestly don’t understand why the grown-ups were so afraid of Matilda Dixon getting the kid; she’d have just given him right back.
As you can see, there’s not a whole lot to like about “Darkness Falls”. It’s short; it’s badly acted and has really ugly children. Well, damn, I just described 90% of the women I used to date.
The sound of Matilda Dixon’s wailing throughout the film is really the sound of an elderly woman’s groaning in bed. The sound was both sped up in the parts where Matilda screams, and slowed down in the places where she gurgles and breathes heavily.
The film went through five titles (“The Tooth Fairy”, “Don’t Peek”, “Fear of the Dark”, “The Tooth Fairy: The Ghost of Matilda Dixon” and “The Tooth Fairy: Every Legend Has Its Dark Side”) before it became Darkness Falls.
According to FX creator Steve Wang, the original version of ‘Tooth Fairy’ was an Angel of Death, but when script changes came in, his winged and toothy creation was jettisoned. Actor Doug Jones originally played the Tooth Fairy in Wang’s incredible makeup.
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Posted on 08/06/2012, in Films Based on Childhood Legends, Films Released in 2003, Movies and tagged Chaney Kley, Darkness Falls, Emma Caulfield, James Vanderbilt, Jonathan Liebesman, Lee Cormie, Michael Greene, Steve Wang. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.