Darkness Falls

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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 townsfolk.

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.

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