Newest Reviews
Happy End
Ugly American, The
Ritual of Evil
Vigilante Diaries
Happy Death Day
You Can't Stop the Murders
Legend of the Mountain
Man: The Polluter
Wolf Warrior II
Journey to the Seventh Planet
Ghost Story, A
Lady in the Lake
Devil at Your Heels, The
Paddington 2
Two Jakes, The
Re: Born
Dracula Sucks
Perfect Weapon, The
Hollywood Babylon
True Legend
Die Laughing
Thor Ragnarok
Killing of a Sacred Deer, The
This Beautiful Fantastic
Monocle, The
Substitute, The
Hallucination Strip
Newest Articles
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
  Darkness Falls Tooth acheBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Stars: Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Grant Piro, Sullivan Stapleton, Steve Mouzakis, Peter Curtin, Kestie Morassi
Genre: Horror
Rating:  4 (from 5 votes)
Review: 150 years ago in the small town of Darkness Falls, a kindly woman by the name of Matilda Dixon was wrongly accused of murdering two small children and put to death by the angry townsfolk. Soon after Matilda reappeared as a demonic spirit, claiming the lives of the town’s children on the night they lose their last baby tooth. Only one child ever survived, and 12 years later, Kyle Walsh returns to the town he grew up in to confront his darkest fears.

This is a great concept for a horror flick – watching someone get their teeth removed is infinitely more horrific than all the limb-ripping in the world, and with the well of decent horror villains running ever dry, an evil Tooth Fairy is a cool idea. Unfortunately the concept is the easily the best thing about Darkness Falls – the rest is an unscary, somewhat annoying mess.

It’s another of those medium-budget studio shockers that replaces genuine frights with pounding music, over-stylised photography, rapid editing and flashy CGI – at least Thirteen Ghosts had some brilliant set design and The Haunting had... ok, that had absolutely nothing going for it either. Sure, you jump occasionally whenever director Jonathan Liebesman plays the old quiet-then-LOUD-NOISE trick, but even the most inexperienced director can pull that one off. What’s lacking is any atmosphere or concern for the fate of the characters (part of the problem being the fact that you can’t really blame Matilda for being a little pissed off). There’s not even any gore to make up for the lack of chills... a few claw marks and a ‘scary’ Stan Winston-designed demon face are all you get.

The biggest problem here is the sheer idiocy of the plotting. A long-winded introductory monologue would have us believe that old Matilda just wants to kill kids – and yet she spends most of the film whizzing through the air offing anyone who crosses her path. And surely if her plan was to murder every child on the day they lose their last tooth, it wouldn’t it take long for the town’s population to have dwindled to a big fat zero. And even though Matilda has plenty of chances to kill Kyle she decides framing him for murder would be more fun... cunning maybe, not exactly very evil.

There’s no attempt to make the characters behave in believable ways either. Childhood sweethearts Kyle and Caitlin haven’t seen each other for 12 years but are gazing soppily into each others eyes within a couple of hours, and although Caitlin is supposedly going out with irritating hot-shot lawyer Larry, she doesn’t seem remotely bothered when he’s splattered by the Tooth Fairy (maybe she’s secretly glad). Buffy-star Emma Caulfield is about the best thing in it – despite a great horror first name, Chaney Kley is a boringly rugged leading man, while Lee Cormie, playing Caitlin’s kid brother, is certainly no Haley Joel Osment.

You just know when the credits roll on the 71st minute this was a film no one had the slightest bit of faith in... although it does contain my favourite chat-up line of the year: "I need to get this gravel out of your scalp." But in general, a lot less fun than root canal surgery.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty


This review has been viewed 5922 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Jonathan Liebesman  (1976 - )

South African director who got acclaim for his powerful 2000 short film, Genesis and Catastrophe, based on the Roald Dahl story. Made his Hollywood debut with hit horror Darkness Falls and followed it with epics Battle: Los Angeles and sequel Wrath of the Titans. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot was successful but little loved.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Jason Cook
Paul Shrimpton
  Jony Clark
  The Elix


Last Updated: