Darkness Falls (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarNo StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner06/05/2003

One out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

Disappointing horror film that is neither frightening nor amusing – bad acting, sub-standard special effects, terrible script. And not in a good way.

As a gravelly-voiced voiceover explains at the beginning, in the town of Darkness Falls (the film’s best and only joke) there was once an old woman who used to give money to kids if they brought their milk teeth…

However, she suffered severe injuries in a fire and took to wearing a porcelain mask because of her hideous features. Then some kids went missing and – whoops - she was burned as a witch, cursing the town.

Sometimes They Come Back

So, many years later, a little kid named Kyle gets the bejeezus scared out of him the night he loses his first tooth and Something Nasty murders his mother.

Unsurprisingly, this leads to years of therapy. 15 years later, Kyle (Total Nonentity Cheney Kley) hooks up with Caitlin (Emma Caulfield, better known as ‘Anya’ From Buffy), who used to be his 10 year old sweetheart or something.

It turns out her little brother is Afraid Of The Dark. "There's nothing to be afraid of" everyone tells him. "Oh yes there is" he says. But who’s going to believe a story about a monster called The Tooth Fairy? Certainly not the audience.

Anyway, the basic premise is similar to Pitch Black. The Tooth Fairy only attacks in darkness and is afraid of the light. So, naturally, there's a power cut...

Standard Idea Executed Very Badly

The premise of Darkness Falls may be extremely derivative but it’s still a good one. However, it’s completely squandered here, because the film is all over the place.

People get killed randomly (and stupidly - the Tooth Fairy's not very scary method of killing involves whisking people into the air and then dropping them), the continuity is dreadful, and entire scenes seem to be missing.

There are occasionally amusing bits, such as when some Crazy Doctors suggest curing Caitlin’s brother’s fear of the dark by putting him into a sensory deprivation tank, but that's about it.

In the end they all drive to the lighthouse (hey, good idea) and Caitlin removes her nice warm cardigan for No Reason Whatsoever except that it means she spends the final reel in a skimpy top.

The acting is extremely poor – Emma Caulfield is a talented comedic actress and yet she’s given very few good lines and next to nothing to do. As for Kley, well, there’s a reason you haven’t heard of him – he’s rubbish. Even the effects are sub-standard, and not in an amusingly cheap way, either.

In short, since it isn’t remotely scary, or in any way amusing, the entire film feels like a colossal waste of time. Rent Scream again, instead.

Film Trailer

Darkness Falls (15)
Be the first to review Darkness Falls...
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 22/09/2018 06:52

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films