Darkness Falls

A Film Review By Michael Haley

Rating:PG-13 for language and SCARINESS!!!!
Starring: Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie.
Directed By:Jonathon Liebesman.

Final Grade:

Ima scared already. Ima scared that Hollywood won’t stop putting out ridiculous horror films, including but not limited to the recent films The Ring, FearDotCom, and They (to be fair, The Ring was a lot of fun). However, the makers of this film decided apparently that they would take the face of the creature of Feardotcom and none of the good visuals, the cops and stuff blueprint of Jeepers Creepers, and last but not least, RIP OFF NEARLY ALL OF THEY!! I mean of all the horror films to knock off, they picked They? And so begins my review…

The film stars several names you’ll never see again. Apparently Matilda Dickson was lynched in the town of Darkness Falls 150 some years ago, and has now come back in the form of the Tooth Fairy. Thing is, she’ll only come out when it’s dark (sound familiar?) and kills anybody who lays eyes upon her face, which I think is made out of children’s teeth or something. The film opens with the title character as a little boy, who witnesses the creature kill his mother and develops a life long fear of the dark. Twelve years later (and we’re told that twelve years has passed no less than five times throughout the film) the creature has come back for another little kid (who has a cute way of letting you know he’s a scared little boy who’s always in danger of being eaten by the Tooth Fairy), and the previous kid now has to kill the Tooth Fairy once and for all. If you read the previous sentence and didn’t laugh at its stupidity, than by all means, check out the film.

Where do I begin on this pile of crap…for one thing, the word “dumbass” is too high of a compliment to pay the characters of the film. For example, they constantly have to be in light or else the tooth fairy swoops down and kills them. So when they jump in the car, they have to look around for flashlights that of course don’t work (never mind the laws of physics, which don’t seem to apply here) and so forth. Why don’t they just turn on the dome light of their car? They could drive for miles and not have to worry about the tooth fairy at all. Or better yet, when they go in the dark why don’t they keep their eyes closed, if that apparently stops the tooth fairy as well? It didn’t matter, because I was kind of hoping the tooth fairy would win. I won’t say if she does or doesn’t; not like it really matters though.

But even with sub par intelligence, could this at least have been thrilling or even mildly fun? No, because I was constantly distracted by how blatantly cheap the scares were. The film starts off with some promise and some really disturbing imagery, and than descends into mediocrity faster than you can say “tooth fairy” in the mirror five times (and at only seventy-six minutes, that’s no exaggeration). All the cheap thrills are there…the cat jumping on the car, the open window that suggests the tooth fairy is coming in but it’s really a girl who wants to take the little boy to the dance, and so on. That’s not to mention the countless thefts from other, better horror films. The one in particular that irked me was a two second shot that was a flat out theft from the beginning of The Shining; not homage but theft, and Stanley Kubrick has to be spinning in his grave at the notion of one his cool shots being used in such a horrible film. The concept and set up of the film (little boy at the beginning that goes carazay baby) comes from They, and even the creature comes straight out of Feardotcom, which may not have been a great movie but theft is theft, regardless of the source.

Yeah, there are is some okay stuff like the creature, who may have not been an original creation but in the right light, puts an effective spin on The Grim Reaper (more theft!) that feels kinda cool. The lead actress was pretty cute (and almost makes the admission worth it). There are a few insignificant wide angle shots that don’t do anything for the film but make excellent use of scope. But I can’t recommend anything about it besides those trite points. On my initial viewing I was going to let it off with a C or C-, but as I was writing this review, I felt an intense disgust and hatred for the film, which doesn’t even try to do anything remotely different. If you know what you want and for some reason this is it go for it, otherwise, see something else.

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