Darkness Falls
Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie
Directed By:
Jonathan Liebesman

I can imagine how the script for Darkness Falls was created... one night, after watching way too many teen horror flicks, a few writers came together and created a script that pieced elements of each of these flicks into one rather bland hodgepodge of a story, which they presented to Columbia the next day. How such a weak story filled with so many plot holes actually got the green light is beyond me.

The story's first mistake is giving away the whole life story of the nemesis as the movie opens. Some 150 years ago, there was an old lady by the name of Matilda Dixon, who used to play the role of Tooth Fairy in the town of Darkness Falls. After being horribly burned and then subsequently accused and lynched for the disappearance of two town children, she returned as a violent specter who visits children the night they lose their last baby tooth. The catch is, if the child sees her, she'll kill them in retribution.

As a child, Kyle (Kley) is nearly taken by the Tooth Fairy. Instead, his mother is murdered and he is taken away to a mental ward. Some years later, he comes back at the request of Caitlin (Caulfield), his childhood sweetheart, whose brother, Michael (Cormie), is having the same fear of the dark that Kyle experiences. At this point, the story takes the usual steps of unfolding towards the final confrontation and resolution that occurs in just about every horror flick that's come before.

I don't know what's more tepid about this film - the nondescript acting or the sadly unscary Tooth Fairy. None of the main cast even comes close to delivering a decent or evoking performance. Throw in a monster that looks like something out of the Frighteners, but not nearly as menacing, and the whole experience will bore most viewers quickly. If they had at least made the Tooth Fairy more mysterious by not revealing her whole life story at the onset, maybe there would have been at least a few tense moments. Not even the gimmick of shooting certain scenes exceptionally bright, while other excessively dark, seems to do much other than to accent the cheap quality of the overall content.

Probably the only real interesting part of the film is trying to figure out what elements were borrowed from what films. Sadly, though, none of those elements even compare to the originals. Lee Cormie's character tries to emulate Osment from The Sixth Sense or Dorfman from The Ring, but really ends up as a pale copy of both. Both Kley and Caulfield are thinly developed and shallow, far outweighed by characters in films like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Yes, I'm actually using those series as a benchmark that this movie fails to reach.

Ultimately, the story is uninteresting and filled with a number of lapses in reason (remind me again how a powerless hospital can still have functioning elevators). I can think of no good reason, outside of the fact that Darkness Falls had enough production capital to keep it from B-Movie status, to see this film when there are so many better films out there to watch.

- - Vane

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