Thursday, February 3, 2011

Darkness Falls

There is a town called Darkness Falls where, one hundred fifty years ago, there was an old lady who all the kids in town loved, and every time one of them lost a tooth they'd give it to her in exchange for a gold coin. Apparently that kind of thing wasn't considered creepy back then.
But then the old lady was horribly scarred in a house fire and could only come out at night while wearing a porcelain mask and everybody decided she was creepy after all, and she was wrongfully executed for killing two kids who turned out to still be alive.
So now she's a sinister Tooth Fairy, and when kids in Darkness Falls lose their last baby tooth, she comes and takes it but if you look at her, she kills your ass. Unless there's light shining on you. She's allergic to light.
Whoo. Okay. That's the first two minutes of Darkness Falls.
The next five minutes are about a kid named Kyle who loses his last tooth, asks a girl to the dance, catches a glimpse of Sinister Tooth Fairy and then watches it kill his mom. He gets arrested for the murder and is taken away.
Twelve years later, the younger brother of the girl he asked to the dance (who has grown up to be Anya from Buffy The Vampire Slayer) is afraid of the dark and telling the same stories of peeking at Sinister Tooth Fairy and fearing for his life that Kyle told back in the day. So Anya calls Kyle and asks him to help out with her brother.
Meanwhile, Sinister Tooth Fairy is killing minor characters willy nilly and framing Kyle for the murders. Hilarity ensues.
Darkness Falls is one of those movies that's good and entertaining while you're watching it and, by the next week, you've completely forgotten you saw it at all. It was more like a supernatural action movie than a horror film, which tends to be a side effect of being rated PG-13. You can't have a lot of blood and cursing, but you can have police officers ineffectively shooting at a spectre and then being snatched away into the darkness while a guy shouts "Stay in the light!" over and over until you just want to smack him with one of his precious flashlights.
And it was a total bummer to see Emma Caulfield, who was so funny and effective on Buffy, given pretty much nothing to do but look concerned and run. Isn't the female lead supposed to have some sort of job to do in the story? Her job was plot exposition and wearing a tank top.
I will say, though, it was awfully considerate of Sinister Tooth Fairy to pick off all the background and minor characters first. There were scenes where everybody was enshrouded in darkness, even the three characters who had gotten a good look at her, two of whom she's been following for a solid amount of time (Kyle for twelve years; the kid for at least a few weeks, I gather).
So who does she go for? Various cops and nurses who have no names, some of whom never even saw her and, according to the guidelines established earlier in the movie, shouldn't even be in danger.
I don't get it! If I was Sinister Tooth Fairy, I'd go straight for Kyle while I had the chance. "I'll get you later, Nameless Doctor Who Caught A Brief Glimpse Of Me About Two Minutes Ago. I've been chasing this jerk for more than a decade!" Swoop, grab, kill, success! Evil triumphs!
I guess you can't do that in a PG-13 horror movie.

End of line.

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