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Darkness Falls (2003)

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A vengeful spirit has taken the form of the Tooth Fairy to exact vengeance on the town that lynched her 150 years earlier. Her only opposition is the only child, now grown up, who has survived her before.


Jonathan Liebesman


Joe Harris (story), John Fasano (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
4,569 ( 2,123)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chaney Kley ... Kyle
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Caitlin (as Emma Caulfield)
Lee Cormie ... Michael
Grant Piro Grant Piro ... Larry
Sullivan Stapleton ... Matt
Steve Mouzakis ... Dr. Murphy
Peter Curtin Peter Curtin ... Dr. Travis
Kestie Morassi ... Nurse Lauren
Jenny Lovell ... Nurse Alex
John Stanton ... Captain Henry
Angus Sampson ... Ray (as Angus Murray Lincoln Sampson)
Charlotte Rose Charlotte Rose ... Ray's Wife (as Charlotte Rees)
Joshua Anderson Joshua Anderson ... Young Kyle
Emily Browning ... Young Caitlin
Rebecca McCauley Rebecca McCauley ... Kyle's Mom


In the Nineteenth Century, in Darkness Falls, Matilda Dixon is a good woman, who exchanges with children their baby teeth per coins. One day, her face is burnt in a fire in her house, she becomes sensitive to light and uses a china mask to protect her face against light. When two children are not found in the town, Matilda is blamed by the population and burnt in a fire, as if she were a witch. She claims to be not guilty and curses the whole population of the town and their descendants, stating that when each child loses the last tooth, she would come to get it, and if the child looks at her, she would kill him or her. After her death, the two children are found, and the shamed citizens decide to bury this sad and unfair event and never mention it again. Twelve years ago, the boy Kyle accidentally saw the Tooth Fairy, and she killed his mother. All the persons in Darkness Falls but his girlfriend Caitlin accused the boy of murdering his mother and sent him to an institution, ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An eye for an eye. Your life for a tooth. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror and horror images, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Australia



Release Date:

24 January 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tooth Fairy: The Ghost of Matilda Dixon See more »


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,024,917, 26 January 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Directorial debut of Jonathan Liebesman. See more »


The tooth fairy is sensitive to light, no matter how dim, Yet she is shown flying around during the storm with no reactions to the very bright and near constant lightning. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: It is said that over 150 years ago, in the town of Darkness Falls, Matilda Dixon was adored by all the children. Whenever they would lose a tooth they would bring it to her in exchange for a gold coin, earning her the name, the Toothfairy. But fate was not kind to Matilda. One night fire tore through her home leaving her face horribly scarred. Matilda's burned flesh was so sensitive to light she could only go out at night, always wearing a porcelain mask so no one could ever look ...
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Crazy Credits

The Revolution Studios logo is tinted brown to tie into the Matilda Dixon backstory opening scene. See more »

Alternate Versions

A longer cut was shown on FX Network's "DVD on TV" with extra scenes not featured on the DVD's deleted scenes. See more »


Featured in Bad Movie Beatdown: Christmas with the Kranks (2009) See more »


Written by Jamie Blake and Paul Andrews
Performed by Vixtrola
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Studio horror is reaching new lows.
10 April 2003 | by Li-1See all my reviews

* out of ****

I find it rather hard to believe that in the past year, we've had five movies dealing with vengeful supernatural spirits and/or curses. It began with Feardotcom, then Below, The Ring (easily the best of the bunch), Ghost Ship, and now Darkness Falls, which could very well be the worst. In the latest example of PG-13 horror, there's nothing here that's the slightest bit scary or thrilling. The atmosphere is non-existent, the premise really isn't very promising, and the execution is even more lackluster.

The film has a very simple premise: old lady killed over a hundred years ago is now a restless spirit who goes around murdering children who've lost their first tooth (they also have to see her face first, or something like that, not like the movie was holding my attention). Anyway, after the film dispenses with TWO prologues which takes up nearly fourteen minutes of running time, we settle with our protagonist, Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley), who encountered this evil tooth fairy as a child and wants to help his former girlfriend's (Emma Caulfield) younger brother through the same ordeal. Naturally, no one believes Walsh and they'll live (well, not for long) to regret it.

Horror is probably my favorite genre, and while last year did give us The Ring (simply one of the scariest films I've ever seen) and Below (an excellent "ghost ship" thriller that's much better than Ghost Ship), most of these big studio genre offerings don't seem to realize what it is that makes horror films so fun to watch. They don't have to be bone-chillers, they just have to be easy entertainment, which is what Darkness Falls strives for, but fails at almost miserably.

First, I'd like to mention the preposterously short running time. Without the end credits, this puppy runs for seventy-four minutes, shorter than your average TV movie sans commercials. Then knock off the prologues, and we've got approximately an hour of material that focuses on the lead actors and their plight. This is obviously a movie that doesn't have much in the way of plot, but you probably figured that when you saw the town's name was Darkness Falls (groan).

The Ring worked because of its chilling atmosphere, engaging mystery, and fine performances. To a lesser but still formidable extent, the same goes for Below. Darkness Falls doesn't have the look and feel of a horror/thriller, it certainly doesn't have enough plot (and what story it has is peppered with plot holes)(you'd think a town this cursed would have almost a minute population, but it's a rather bustling little place), and the acting is subpar. Director Jonathan Liebesman seems perfectly content with trying to give us boo scares (which aren't the slightest bit effective), loud noises, lots of fast camera movements, and lots of running and chasing.

Running and chasing is exactly what fills up the movie's last twenty minutes, when it suddenly opts for thrill ride mode, but even that is as completely unengaging as all the material that came before it. Part of this has to do with how predictable the film is. You just know who's going to live and who's going to die. And even worse, because it's PG-13, you can't even be tantalized by the promise of gore and gratuitous nudity, two staples of 80's horror, which I'm starting to miss more and more.

The major studios are still capable of making effective horror thrillers, as evidenced by The Ring and Below, and let's not forget the superb Jeepers Creepers or Joy Ride. Watch any of those films instead of this steaming pile.

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