There are horror movies, and then there are horrible movies. “Darkness Falls” can be classified as the latter. What begins as a movie with great potential delivers a waste of an hour and 15 minutes. While numerous scenes will make everyone in the theater jump, they are mainly due to the fact that the volume is explosively loud and the lighting is too dark to distinguish the unfolding events. This decibel level also provides a sleep deterrent, which is necessary with dialogue dull enough to lull an insomniac to rest. The lack of memorable characters or household-named actors is understandable because movies like this do more harm to an actor’s career than anything else.

Paul Wong
Courtesy of Columbia
Fear of the dentist taken too far.

However, it should be pointed out that the entire movie is not worthless. The potential for something different and exciting comes in the opening minutes with a story that challenges our preconceived notions of the Tooth Fairy. One hundred and fifty years ago lived a nice, old lady who would give children a gold coin when they lost a tooth, appropriately dubbed the “Tooth Fairy” and loved by all. This love is abandoned when two children turn up missing, and the Tooth Fairy is blamed. She places a curse on the town before being hung, promising to exact her revenge on any child that loses a tooth. Thus ends the potential and begins the 70-plus minutes of predictability and senselessness.

Enter Kyle Walsh, a 10-year-old who has just lost his last tooth. After a brief visit from his childhood crush, Caitlin, he tries to fall asleep. His efforts prove fruitless as the Tooth Fairy attacks him, and, unlike his mother, he is lucky enough to escape. The escape is only physical as, 12 years later, Kyle (Chaney Kley) is still haunted by this memory. Oddly enough, Caitlin’s younger brother, Michael, is now being terrorized by the Tooth Fairy as he has just lost his last tooth. Caitlin (played as an adult by Emma Caufield) must convince Kyle to help her younger sibling before Michael is considered insane, since he and Kyle are apparently the only two people who have seen the Tooth Fairy and survived.

A string of inanely predictable deaths ensue accompanied by some horror movie “don’ts” whose stupidity rivals that of horror spoofs. The acting is just as poor as the dialogue, which might be expected from actors whose biggest credits include “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Legally Blonde.” The only person in the movie with any sense is Michael (Lee Cormie), who, during his first conversation with Kyle, sounds incredibly provocative for his age. Kyle’s thought process obviously doesn’t contend with that of Michael’s as he only incessantly repeats, “Stay out of the dark! Stay in the light!”

The villain is even less consistent than the bad acting and dialogue. Supposedly, the Tooth Fairy only attacks those who have looked at her, yet throughout the movie, quite a few of her victims are attacked completely by surprise. Supposedly, staying in the light equates staying out of harm, but the amount of light that will stop the Tooth Fairy in her murdering tracks wavers uncontrollably and annoyingly. And supposedly, the Tooth Fairy seeks to exact her revenge on the children of Darkness Falls (the title comes not from the impending doom of the dark, but from the town in which the Tooth Fairy lived and has sworn vengeance), but even grown up Kyle, who has moved to Las Vegas, still feels the need to carry an array of flashlights wherever he ventures.

So what’s next? A movie exposing the Easter Bunny as the greatest bank robber in the world? If movies like this were made better, the fact that they smear the reputation of children’s fairytales could be overlooked. However, this is not the case with “Darkness Falls,” as the once beloved Tooth Fairy is turned evil in a movie that is just plain awful.

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