Darkness Falls stars Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield and Lee Cormie.
“What I took before in kindness, I will take forever in revenge.”
Darkness Falls tells the story of Matilda Shaw, who gave the town’s children gold coins in exchange for their baby teeth, earning her the nickname ‘Tooth Fairy’. After being horribly burned in an accident and accused of killing two children, she curses the town who wrongfully murder her. Years later, Kyle loses his last tooth and sees the Tooth Fairy who then kills his mother.
After being institutionalised, he returns to the town to help the younger brother of an old flame who is being stalked by the same foe. Can they find a way to stop her and end the curse once and for all? Well, you might be able to guess the outcome, but I still think it’s well worth checking out this often underrated horror gem. Here are my 5 main reasons why:
Darkness Falls twists a beloved folklore tale on its head
I love horror films that do this. Growing up I actually loved my baby teeth falling out, as I’d wake up to money under my pillow. I was never once attacked by a malevolent spirit though (luckily). Films that follow in a similar vein include Dead Silence (“Beware the stare of Mary Shaw, she had no children, only dolls”) and Fragile (“The mechanical girl won’t let us leave.”), both of which are definitely worth checking out.
The Tooth Fairy might not be the scariest character in horror film history but, like Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street, she is making the children pay for their parents’ mistake and she won’t stop until you’re dead. And that is scary.
There’s no damsel in distress
The female character is underused and is mainly there to hug her brother and act as a love interest for the main guy. But this does make a nice change from your clichéd screaming, helpless woman running up the stairs instead of out the front door, whilst wearing a tight, white vest that just happens to get wet, dirty or both.
Good child actor
Child actors can make or break a film and if their acting isn’t up to scratch it can be really distracting (I am not a fan of the wannabe rapper brother in the brilliant The Visit). Lee Cormie who plays Michael is never annoying, believably terrified and adorable enough to make the audience care about him. In fact, I reckon he’s the best actor in the whole film.
Brian Tyler’s score is extremely effective and relentlessly fierce. The rock songs are cleverly used; with the heavy drums and deep vocals adding an extra darkness to the film’s dark energy and shadow-filled scenes.
Nothing is scarier than the dark
The Tooth Fairy only attacks you in the dark because her burned skin is sensitive to light, so light becomes your only ally against her. The film makes great use of dark and light in every scene, and, as Michael learns, it’s not just children who are afraid of the dark. It’s a natural human impulse – the dark is the unknown afterall. Anything could be hiding, ready to pounce, or, in the case of Darkness Falls, ready to kill.
By Catherine Dunn (@toodamncat)
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