About a year ago, I read about the coolest action figure maker in the world, McFarlane Toys, producing another line of their popular Movie Maniacs action figures. This line would include The Tooth Fairy based on a film of the same name that would be out later in the year. It looked like a female, but was scary ugly, with a slightly hyper-extended mouth. I THINK she may have had wings too.
Anyway, as happens often in Hollywood, creative changes were made, and legendary special effects/ creature creator Stan Winston was brought in, and lo and behold, the original concept of the “monster” was trashed, and a new look emerged.
So if you own a McFarlane Toy’s Tooth Fairy, hold on to it. It’s kinda rare.
The change of “monsters” also brought along a change of titles.
See, this movie was never about THE Tooth Fairy we all heard about in our youth. It’s about someone who became known as “the tooth fairy” in her little town. So the name of the movie shifted to the name of the town where all the merriment ensues…
The first commercial I saw for Darkness Falls looked like a major rip off of THE RING. I was annoyed, and despite knowing about all that action figure stuff, I said , “NO!”.
But then came a second commercial which told in surprising detail the legend that the film was about, and I said, “OK!”. Even though it was all in the ad, I don’t like to give stuff away, so I won’t. But I hafta say, I liked the premise. As somebody who's tried to write stuff here and there (with absolutely no success) I know that origins, and even premises, are hard to come up with. So despite knowing it wouldn’t be a classic, and despite being a wimp that will jump on cue just because a stupid cat jumps on screen, I saw the movie.
No, it wasn’t great, but it was OK. It was kinda creepy (not nearly as creepy as The Ring) but instead of focusing on the creepy, Darkness Falls bombards with quick flashes of this and that and loud noises, etc. It’s too much of a monster movie (literally) and not enough psychological thriller. Still, I give director Jonathan Liebsman credit for a pretty cool flick, with nice visuals. But rated PG-13, it’s not true to itself. It shows very little (which to me is a good thing), but seems hastily edited, as if too keep the rating. Things seemingly happen so fast, it gets hard to follow. And I think the creature is flawed in appearance, execution and especially in character. See, this tooth fairy literally has no personality. It’s just an evil thing bent on revenge. Making it slightly more “human” would have made it more interesting, and probably much creepier. But there is some creepiness going on, and I’m sure I’ll think about it when I turn off the light tonight to go to sleep.
Acting here’s OK. The leads don’t really stand out, probably because their characters don’t. Emma Caufield is fine, but compared to her fun, politically incorrect character on TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there’s nothing special about her role.
Chaney Kley’s character is a little more impressive, but this is a very short movie, so even as the most developed character, we don’t get to know him that much. Never seen Kley before, but he did OK.
Lee Cormie plays the youngest target, and I think he’s the best of the lot. His character isn’t very developed, but he does very well with what he was given. In a better movie, he may have really stood out, but he’s more than good enough here.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this movie down the road. I have a feeling the DVD will have different rating, or at least a lot of deleted scenes. It might be best to wait for that DVD, but if you have 75 minutes to kill, feel free to wade into the darkness…