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Watched this flick late one saturday night, and I wasn't expecting a lot from this one. But I have to say, as I have watched plenty of so called "horror" films or "thrillers" over the years, this one actually pleasantly surprised me. Sure, the acting was not that good, the plot was, well, rediculous, but damn, this movie was a hell of a lot better than that yawner "One Hour Photo"!! This movie actually did scare me a few times. I got more than I expected from this one, and really don't see why it is getting slammed so bad for. Damn, relax people. Sure there wasn't any nudity or any slashing or gore, but if you really have to have blood and tits to enjoy a movie, you might want to check out the "Faces of Death" series there.
Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) returns to the small town of Darkness Falls to
help his childhood girlfriend, Caitlin Greene (Emma Caulfield), whose
brother is hospitalized with severe night terrors. It seems that a town
legend of the "Tooth Fairy" is haunting his imagination, and Walsh had
similar experiences. Is the "Tooth Fairy" more than just a childhood
It's so much fun watching films multiple times. It's very rare that my opinion remains the same on a film from one viewing to the next. Sometimes my rating goes down, sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it stays the same, but I like or dislike the film for different reasons than I did on my first viewing. Darkness Falls (2003) is a case where my rating has gone up quite a bit since my last encounter with it. I think the difference this time was for two primary reasons--one, when I first saw this in the theater it was in the midst of a slew of horror films that had similar themes, and maybe I was getting tired of it by the time I watched this one, and two, I think the positive aspects worked well enough for me this time that I was more forgiving of the few flaws the film has.
And it does have flaws. Let's get those out of the way first. The main flaw for me was some of the super-fast editing during the horror "action" scenes. Occasionally it was so fast that I couldn't very well tell what was going on. However, I also realized this time that at least occasionally, the editing is perfect for the scene. For example, there is a scene set the small town police station that is inherently chaotic. Chaotic editing is the only thing that would fit.
The other flaw is that there are occasional lapses in plot logic. The most crucial for me occurred during the climax, where there were a couple actions taken that I was a bit confused about. It didn't help that the climax is also slightly marred with hyperactive editing.
However, in both of those cases, the good stuff far outweighed the bad for me. The villain in Darkness Falls is excellent in conception and design. The backstory is captivating. When it's initially told through a "slideshow" during the opening credits, I was thinking that I would have preferred them to give me a 10-minute historical prologue, but in retrospect, I'd prefer to see an entire film that's a prequel telling the villain's story. I loved the small town setting of the film, and the interactions of the characters in the script. They seemed like real people to me, with entwined pasts. I loved the three main characters, and thought their performances were very good. Since I'm a big Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan, that might have supplied Emma Caulfield with some unconscious bonus points, but I loved her acting here.
What really matters in a film like this is the horror material, and director Jonathan Liebesman handles it skillfully. Although I'm not usually a fan of modern films having shorter running times (it was more understandable back in the days of literal A and B films on the same bill at a theater), Darkness Falls is compact because there is little "dead time" between the suspenseful material. Liebesman only spends as much time as necessary with "serious drama" to amplify the horror. These types of scenes were handled well enough to make me either forget or not care if there were any rules broken when it comes to keeping the villain at bay.
Although I'm not someone who finds films scary, I can see Darkness Falls working for many viewers in terms of frights. Many primal fears are touched upon. There is an excellent extended bit in complete darkness (you only hear the soundtrack), and of course darkness and things coming out of the darkness is a major theme throughout. You also get scenes of claustrophobia, loss of control, elevators, hospitals, and many other situations that should work on more receptive viewers' sensibilities.
This one is worth seeing, but approach it more in the frame of mind of a fun roller-coaster ride than a literary masterpiece.
I saw this movie in the theaters when it came out in 2003 with my
then-boyfriend, now husband. My husband is a pretty stoic guy, and
because I love and have seen so many horror movies at this point, I'm
afraid I'm a little jaded, and have frequently been disappointed when
it comes to horror movies that have come out past 1983.
"Darkness Falls" delivered the goods. The movie has just enough supernatural to it to be weird and freaky, and the acting, while not terribly good, isn't horrible. I think they showed the monster a little too early, but that's just me.
We were terrified. Neither of us would go anywhere in my house without the lights on, and certainly not alone! The sets, lighting and sound effects were so creepy it made my skin crawl.
Certainly better fare than some other pathetic excuses for horror movies that rely solely on special effects for creep.
Darkness Falls follows a somewhat similar plot line as the previous year's entry in the genre,They,with a few differences.One,Darkness Falls has a fairly well fleshed out back story.Two,the acting is generally fairly good.three,the monster has a reason for being,a motivation for its actions.also,the monster has a weakness,which can be exploited.the core storyline is descent for this genre.the movie is better paced and much better edited.the monster itself is however,not so great.the look of the creature isn't the problem.the problem are its movements,which do not look authentic in some scenes.now,the characters themselves--very little in the form of character development.pretty much your stock horror characters.none too bright and reacting in ways which real people(hopefully)would not.yet,strangely likable somehow.you kind of take pity on them.suspense--there were some tense moments.there was a fair amount of action.however,at times the film became chaotic--lots of sounds and sights all at once,including the music.the purpose,to pretend to entertain the viewer,well hiding the movie's shortcomings.in essence disguising the fact that the movie isn't achieving its intended purpose.in this case,frightening the viewer or at least heightening his or her anxiety.and now the ending.it does nicely resolve things.no cheap setup for a sequel here.i think it's a better movie than They.is it a good movie?yes.it has some tense moments with a few decent action sequences and a decent,straightforward ending without the usual unexpected(but really expected))twist.for me,Darkness Falls is a 6.5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I cannot believe how bad the ratings are for this film. All this film is, ( And it does'nt pretend to be anything else ) is a simple scary old fashioned horror film with a simple plot. And that is exactly what it is! Except that I would add that the Tooth Fairy I think is brilliantly scary and definately creepy. The film too has its creepy elements and the film does build good tension in places. I think what might have helped with my opinion of the film is I watched it on dvd not at the movies and watching the feature about the curse explained things better before I watched the movie. So to conclude, you spoilers need to back off! Not all films are meant to be deep, like the crappy ring. ( thats another story ) This film is good simple fun. Id recommend it!!!!!
I used to think Darkness Falls was a terrible movie. In fact, I used to
say it was THE worst mainstream horror movie I had ever seen. I have to
admit now that I was probably a little bit too harsh. It is, however, a
film that massively disappoints and gets worse the nearer it creeps to
its risible climax.
It's all about the Tooth Fairy, a vengeful spirit of a woman who used to give children treats for their lost teeth before she was badly burned in her life and then wrongfully hung by the residents of Darkness Falls many years ago. Many years later, she still gets around albeit wearing a porcelain mask to hide her burnt features and not wishing to be seen. If anyone does see her then they have to die. This fate befalls everyone except a young lad named Kyle who grows up to be a . . . . . young man named Kyle. Kyle is on a tonne of medication and carries a bag of flashlights wherever he goes. Where he goes, for this movie, is back to Darkness Falls after a phone call from a childhood sweetheart imploring him to help her little brother, who is experiencing similar "night terrors" to those Kyle was diagnosed as having. The Tooth Fairy wants vengeance. And did I mention that she has to stay in the dark as any light damages her fragile skin/body? No? Well that is, obviously, quite important.
What's so frustrating about this film is that it has a genuinely fantastic opening 10 minutes. Watching it, and being scared in all the right ways, makes you think you're in for a real treat. That is sadly not the case and the longer the film runs the greater the disappointment becomes.
The acting is okay, the script is fine (with some decent one-liners in there) and the look of the movie is pretty slick (and I must say I really enjoyed the sound design too, some fine spooky noises are thrown in here) but the film's major failing is its inability to stay within the rules it has set for itself. The Tooth Fairy hates light, finds it damaging, and stays in the dark. She is even held at bay by a small hand-held torch. Yet, as things hot up, she is unharmed while pursuing people in the middle of a thunder and LIGHTning storm and even pops up at one point in a LIGHT house. The clues are in the words there and things just seem flat when such well-prepped limitations are then broken. Never mind the fact that whenever The Tooth Fairy has a choice of victims, including the boy who has evaded her for so many years, she manages to pick Disposable Extra Number 2 and you may well groan as I did while the bubble of hope you had for this movie first deflates and then bursts. Now I know that horror movies are often unbelievable and/or illogical (hey, I watch Troma flicks for Chrissakes) but I always believe that any film should stay within the rules of the universe it has provided us and this one simply does not do that. More's the pity.
Not the worst mainstream horror of recent years, but only worth seeing for the first half and, especially, those opening 10 minutes.
See this if you like: They, Darkness (2002), Boogeyman.
As a young boy, Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) claims to have seen the
fearsome Tooth Fairy kill his own mother. He also claims that having
seen her, she wont stop until she kills him also. Years later, and
still haunted by the experience of that night, Kyle must return to
Darkness Falls to aid his childhood sweetheart Caitlin Greene (Emma
Caulfield) and her kid brother Michael-who seems to be at risk from the
Tooth Fairy this time around. Can Kyle confront his fears and end the
150 years of terror that has blighted Darkness Falls?
Pretty much despised by the discerning horror-phile, Darkness Falls, to me at least, is a creepy, interesting and totally enjoyable thriller/ghost picture worth reappraisals. From the excellent, and chilling opening credits (where we nicely have a back story to work from), to the final confrontation, Darkness Falls ticks most of the ghostly requisites that is asked of it. Scary demon, troubled children 9night terrors should be explored more in cinema I feel), cannon fodder bullies, cannon fodder obnoxious coppers and a constant sense of unease and dread. All of which is provided in Jonathan Liebesman's 9The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) film. It's with the sense of dread that I feel Darkness Falls deserves a better reputation. Hand on my heart I know the film isn't a scary boo jump picture, something that is unforgivable to many genre supporters, but atmosphere goes a long way to creating a good thriller/ghost story picture. Darkness Falls has it in spades. It's also a film that is a nice antidote to the blood beast torture sub-genre of film's that seep out from the multi-plexes on a seemingly weekly basis.
Any expectation of an outright horror film should be quickly extinguished prior to a first time viewing, and if noise annoys and staccato editing bugs you? Well stay away. Also don't line up if one demands great acting in a budget restricted piece such as this, since both Kley & Caulfield are adequate at best. But give it a go if you understand that a preposterous plot, and preposterous set pieces are a pre-requisite for horror films of this type. I say that since I've seen many comments decrying Darkness Falls for it's unbelievable elements - only to then search their other comments to find praise for even more ludicrously plotted pieces! Or give it a go knowing it's more about the creeping stalking menace side of horror, or that it's also an action thriller as well as an uneasy story. Maybe just maybe you will enjoy it for what it is? Otherwise I guess you will be looking forward to Hostel 22 or another Jason Attacks The Eiffel Tower movie... 7/10
RIP Chaney Kley, aged just 34.
Up front: I've just read other IMDb members' reviews of Darkness Falls,
if this isn't just the darndest case of
that I've come across! The following is clearly a VERY brief minority
Decent acting, good story flow, nice special effects for the budget, honest scares, fine gore-avoidance, entertaining mood-setting opening credits, and cliches up the whazoo. A solid 6 out of 10.
This, from a jaded, cynical old-timer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I waited almost 7 years to watch this movie. Some friend gave it to me
in Christmas 2003. The plot sounded really good to me but thinking
about it as a slasher didn't sound right to me.
To be honest, I think it's very entertaining, has good action sequences, decent acting, great use of lights in the dark, and a not so bad looking supernatural villain. The use of CGI wasn't that bad but wasn't also very good.
It's a shame Chaney Kley is dead because he was a charismatic actor. Emma Caulfield is really hot in my opinion. Lee Cormie delivers a fine performance. The kid can act.
The soundtrack was good for me. But the best feature in my opinion was the dynamic look and direction. Plenty of dynamic action sequences. The highlights of the movie include the shooting in the prison and the final elevator chase. Also, when the fairy attacks the car is a clever moment.
While this is not a classic or even considered as a good Horror movie, I think we could be generous with it and label it as an entertaining B-horror effort that should be enjoyed for what it is. People who are more familiar with new wave Horror should enjoy it better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A couple of years ago, Teeny Bopper horror movies were the ones that made
the most money. Now it seems that there has been a slight variation.
Teens/people in their young 20ies are now pitted against mythical monsters
instead. Jeepers Creepers was the first of these, and this Darkness Falls
While I didn't enjoy Jeepers Creepers, I did actually find the sequel (Jeepers Creepers 2, if you didn't know) quite enjoyable. So a couple of weeks after renting JC2, I went back to the video store and saw Darkness. I had seen it on the shelves before, but back then it had not sparked my interest. But now, I rented it and along with some chips I went back to my house, hoping that this would be a good movie.
The first thing I noticed was that I had picked the wrong kind of chips. Then I popped the DVD into the player.
The plot is quite simple, and something we have heard a hundred times before. An old lady used to live in the city of Darkness Falls, about 150 years ago. The people around town used to call her the tooth fairy, cause she used to give children money when they had lost a tooth. One day, she was accused of having killed two children and was hanged by the townsfolk. With her last breath she cursed the town of Darkness Falls.
Fast-forward to present time, well, almost. Young Kyle Walsh has just lost the last of his child's teeth, and merrily hops into bed thinking he'll get some cash for it. Instead, the murderous tooth fairy emerges and, even though Kyle manages to escape by staying "in the light", his mother bites the dust.
Fastforward again, and we find Kyle, now in his early twenties, living alone, very disturbed by his constant nightmares of the tooth fairy. We learn that she is still haunting him, trying to kill him since he has seen her. But by staying out of the darkness and in the light (the tooth fairy cannot enter the light), he has survived. Kyle gets a phonecall from an old girlfriend from his childhood: Caitlin Greene, whose brother has the same symptons that Kyle has. Kyle goes back to the city of Darkness Falls, in hope of helping this poor kid out. But that's when the tooth fairy appears again, and kills, pretty much everyone who Kyle meets.
The beginning of the movie, where Young Kyle is attacked by the tooth fairy, is immensly scare and tense. Very well done. I loved it. Unfortunetly, after that the movie went downhill. Very downhill. The following 40 minutes has Kyle simply walking around, talking to folks in his old town, and telling his past to his ex, Caitlin. This part of the movie is OK. But about 50 minutes into the movie, we realize that this movie is utter garbage. Suddenly, what started as a very good horror film, has turned into somewhat of a... I don't really know what to call it. But Kyle travels from diffrent locations in the town at night, and meets about 20 diffrent people. All of which are killed off in. One each minute. It's awful. At this point of the movie, the plot is completly abandoned, and all we can comprehend is Kyle yelling "Stay in the light!" (Pitch Black, anyone?) and people being grabbed by the tooth fairy and dragged into the darkness.
It's to bad this movie turned into such a stinker. It had alot of promise. A cool villain, some good actors, a very nice soundtrack and some nice directing and editing (in the FIRST part of the movie). Bottomline is, don't even rent this film. If someone you know happens to own it, ask if you can watch the first ten minutes of it, then turn it off. Believe me, it's not worth watching the whole movie (even though it's only 82 minutes long, and that includes ending credits of ca: 11 minutes)
3 / 10.
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