Children usually look forward to the tooth fairy delivering a little present for them, but in Darkness Falls, she is anything but good. It's amazing, because that can also be said about the movie itself.
Darkness Falls starts off with a long, intricate and thrilling sequence of events where a boy loses his final tooth and comes face to face with the Tooth Fairy, a legendary ghost that has been said to kill anyone in the town that looks at her. She's not a happy camper and will do anything to kill him, except that she can't go into the light because of her sensitive skin. The beginning is good and scary, but twelve years pass in the story, and it becomes apparent that the movie should have been left in the dark.
Enter Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield and Lee Cormie, three terrific actors that command the film in every scene they are in. Kley runs around the entire movie acting like a depressed little kid telling every single character to, "stay in the light." Caulfield runs around the entire movie naked. Cormie matches Haley Joel Osmet's performance in The Sixth Sense.
If you didn't notice, I was being sarcastic. Kley is God-awful in the lead, turning in one of the worst performances I've seen since fear dot com (though not that bad). Caulfield isn't nearly as dreadful to listen to, though she doesn't flaunt her one really good trait. And Cormie isn't exactly stunning as the clichéd know-it-all child that no one believes.
Darkness Falls is just a bad movie. The first ten minutes are pretty good, but it just doesn't have the workings of even a decent horror movie. Yeah, there's plenty of horror movies that have bad acting and are abundant with cliches, but I don't think the argument that it doesn't really matter for horror movies is overused and out-of-date. All of the classic horror movies that have bad acting and no plots are classics for a reason: they were the first in the genre. Darkness Falls sets no new benchmark, and in fact falls way short of last place.
The characters do the typical stupid things, and there are many mental lapses on the part of the director and screenwriter. Why can't the Tooth Fairy tread into the faintest of fake light, yet she can fly around freely in a lightning storm, where the light is brighter than anything man can make? Why, after all these years, is she suddenly going a killing rampage? Why is Darkness Falls so bad?
The worst part about Darkness Falls, though, is the basic fact that it just isn't scary. The director did the right thing in the beginning by building up suspense before any kind of "jump" scene, but following that decided to pass over the suspense altogether. The Tooth Fairy flies around the entire movie killing people, yet director Jonathan Liebesman never tries to spook the audience. Isn't that the point of horror movies?
The bad acting and bad storyline might have been forgotten had the movie been scary, but alas, Darkness Falls is anything but frightening. After all, PG-13 horror movies rarely are any good.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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