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Matilda the “tooth fairy” has a dark story in which she ends up killed by the town’s folk where she lives because they think she killed a couple of children. However, the kids are found snug in their beds the next morning, so it is said that the spirit of Matilda takes her revenge on the town’s children when they lose their last baby tooth. That’s an abridged version of the story that is told at the intro of Darkness Falls.
After we hear the tale of Matilda we move forward in time to a kid named Kyle who just lost his last baby tooth. And, guess who shows up in the night to kill him? Instead, Matilda gets his mother. And, in true movie fashion, Kyle has no family so he gets whisked away and his young friend Caitlin is left with no one to take her to the dance.
What Happens When Darkness Falls?
The tooth fairy only comes in the dark. If you stay in the light she won’t get you…
Caitlin’s little brother is having what the doctors are calling night terrors, which is the same thing they said that Kyle had back when he killed his mom (he didn’t kill his mom). Anyway, Caitlin calls on Kyle to help her little brother, but Kyle’s unsure he can help since he’s still afraid of the dark himself.
Kyle comes back to town and someone dies. Guess who gets blamed? Poor Kyle, as if he doesn’t have enough problems running from the tooth fairy for two decades, now he’s getting accused of murder once again. It doesn't help that he has a drugstore's worth of medications that include antipsychotics. It doesn't help make him look very innocent.
Then, of course, even though her little brother believes in the evil tooth fairy Caitlin doesn’t. She has to experience near-death at the hands of this evil spirit to truly believe that there is something to the stories she’s heard since childhood.
Why I Still Like This Movie
Well, for one thing, Buffy’s Emma Caulfield is in it (she plays Caitlin). Aside from that, it’s an interesting twist on the myth of the tooth fairy. Here we raise children up to stick their teeth under a pillow when they lose them and then parents sneak in at night and replace the tooth with a quarter. In this film, kids put that tooth under their pillow and hope that Matilda will take just the tooth and not their life.
I like that the tooth fairy is an ominous creature with a mask on her face. It makes it a little more psychological that way, as does the fact that she only comes in the dark.
I watched this on VHS while writing this review and found that this format added to the scariness of the movie. This is one that might scare a younger set more than us older folks, but I really still enjoyed the concept behind this movie.
The truth is, this movie gets added to a lot of lists about bad movies. People think the acting is bad, or they aren’t impressed with the monster, maybe they don’t think enough people died and the ending was too happy, or maybe they just have a bad taste in horror films. Many of the horror films that have come out in the last 5 or so years really suck (the entire Paranormal Activity franchise makes me cringe), but there are older films, like Darkness Falls (2003), that really capture the essence of what horror films should be. These days I think they rely too much on gore instead of plot and monsters.
If you want a horror film that just might make you afraid of the dark, at least for one night, this one will help.