Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Darkness Falls

"Darkness Falls" (2003, Jonathan Liebesman, Revolution Studios, Distant Corners, Columbia Pictures) is about a disfigured woman (Antony Burrows), falsely accused of, and killed for, being a witch who returns 150 years later as a malevolent spirit with a twisted take on the Tooth Fairy tale.

The film starts with a narrative opening, before we get to meet young Kyle Walsh and his little girlfriend, Caitlin.

Kyle has just lost his last baby tooth and after Caitlin goes home, he tries to get to sleep. His only issue is that The Tooth Fairy is lurking ominously in his room making all manner of creepy noises. When he looks upon her disfigured and masked face, he becomes cursed to become one of her victims. Unfortunately, his mother walks in at the wrong moment and the ghost takes her instead, leaving young Kyle alone, traumatised and accused of his mum's murder! A very effective scene that sets a creepy standard for the film that was sadly unrealised.

Caitlin (Emma Caulfield - who those of taste will know best as Anya from Buffy The Vampire Slayer), now an adult, is concerned for her young brother, Michael (Lee Cormie), who has not been able to sleep since losing his last baby tooth. Finally, she tracks down Kyle (Chaney Kley), now on medication and thought to be psychotic, to ask for help. But, can they stop the curse of The Tooth Fairy?

A very darkly lit film (due to the ghost being photosensitive) that relies solely on jump scares by using loud and creepy noises. While, it's nothing particularly innovative it has the feeling of a more traditional style haunting horror. However, the writing is just not engaging enough to fill in the scenes between jumps and the actors have to work extra hard to make the script work.

An issue I have is when a horror sets rules for the monster and then just blatantly breaks them when it's convenient to the plot. This film has a lot of moments that allow for the ghost to break her boundaries.

Generally not a great film, but it starts out quite well and has an interesting base concept.

[Image: Columbia Pictures]

Hani