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The plot in a nutshell
Bad stuff happens in the dark.
When the lights go out, all kinds of nasty things come out, and this time
it's an old lady, unlucky with fire and even unluckier with the local
In the town of Darkness Falls,
an old woman endears herself to the children by trading them gold coins for
their teeth, a practice that gets her the nickname of 'Tooth Fairy'.
But one night her house is engulfed in flames, and she bears the scars of
horrid burns. She locks herself away, wearing a porcelain mask to
cover her face for the rare times anyone can see her. The sun and any
light hurts her exposed tissue, and so she must live her remaining years in darkness.
There aren't many remaining
years as her luck would have it. One night, a couple boys turn up
missing, and for some reason the town turns on her, accusing her of
something bad. They hang her, and as one might expect, the boys turn
up the next day, just fine and dandy. As they are preparing to hang
the old woman, she curses them - and now she takes their children on the
night they lose their last baby tooth, but only if the child is foolish
enough to look at her. No peeking!
Relatively Spoiler Free Thoughts
One of the most lasting themes for
horror stories is the dark. As the theme we've seen it dozens of
times, and one of my favorites was the God awful 'The Dark' back in
1979. Recently we've had Pitch Black, and now Darkness Falls.
This film got terrible reviews
when it opened. It also was featured in the McFarlane Toys Movie
Maniacs line last fall, but because the figures came out well before the
film, the Tooth Fairy they produced looks absolutely NOTHING like the
monster in the film. They should have gone with Todd's vision.
The reviews were a little more
harsh than necessary. I think the only genre that sustains more abuse
is comedy, but horror films get their fair share. Unless a horror film
is some sort of masterpiece, it's reviled as trash by the general critical
community. And Darkness Falls is certainly no masterpiece.
That doesn't mean it's trash
though. The basic premise is workable, and it hangs together just
fine. There's no big surprises, and you won't be in the least bit
shocked by how the big bad bites it in the end, or who survives and who
doesn't - Star Trek had it's red shirted crewmen, and Darkness Falls has
it's nursing staff.
The acting is basic, and no one
is going to leap off the screen as the next big thing based on their
performances here. There isn't any career ending work here either, and
it's likely this will be a minor blurb on most of their resumes.
Will it scare you? Oh, if
you watch it at home, with all the lights off, and have the surround sound
system cranking, you'll get a jump or two if for no other reason than the
basic ploys they use. They also make great use of the surrounds and
bass, and this is a good dvd to watch on a home theater. Overall
though, it's two hours better spent watching old Night Stalker reruns.
BTW, if anyone knows where to pick up the Night Stalker/Night Strangler DVD,
let me know!
Rating - Skip It
This isn't a terrible film, it's just not a very good film. The use of
the surround is good, so if you have a home theater set up you might get
some basic pleasure out of the cool effects. Otherwise, you're better
off skipping this one.
Spoiler Laden Thoughts
I'm beginning to think that if a film has nothing to spoil, it's
unlikely to be very good. Of course that's not universally true, but I
do find that the most obvious stories, told in the most obvious of ways, are
far less likely to be entertaining.