Tooth fairy? 'Darkness Falls' on its face
The only horror here is the writing, acting and directing.
By CRAIG OUTHIER
The Orange County Register
Friday, January 24, 2003
Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) is a troubled young man. And then some. Hounded by nightmares of the homicidal tooth fairy demon who killed his mother, Kyle soothes his paranoid anxieties with handfuls of Thorazine and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of flashlights, just in case the photo-sensitive spook should ever come back to finish him off.
By the end of "Darkness Falls," a discount-bin rehash of "Nightmare on Elm Street," you'll feel like popping a few Thorazine, too. Sloppy and inexplicable, with bad acting to rival the chintziest infomercial, this is the kind of all-too-common horror flick that's only blood-curdling in the fact that it was made at all.
Twelve years after his last violent confrontation with the nocturnal boogie-woman – otherwise known as Matilda Dixon, a lonely crone butchered by a rabble of enraged townsfolk over 150 years ago – Kyle reluctantly returns to his childhood home of Darkness Falls to help a young boy (Lee Cormie) fight his own battle with the tooth fairy. "Once you see her, she never leaves," Kyle pronounces. It's a strange rite of puberty, granted, but when you live in a town with a name as idiotically foreboding as Darkness Falls, what do you expect?
Kley, whose only previous feature film experience was a bit role in the Reese Witherspoon comedy ''Legally Blonde" (2001), has all the charisma of a broccoli stalk, but with dialogue this wretched, some of the blame must also be assessed to the filmmakers. To wit:
Frightened Nurse: "Where are the police?"
Kyle: "The police are dead."
Frightened Nurse: "All of them?"
Kyle: "Pretty much."
Amazingly, it took three men – professional screenwriters – to come up with those lines.
As if that wasn't bad enough, first-time director Jonathan Liebesman drags us through an absolutely asinine pursuit sequence plagiarized variously from Alfred Hitchcock's ''Lifeboat" and the recent sci-fi pleaser "Pitch Black," where Kyle and his friends drive around looking for a light source to keep Matilda at bay until daybreak. Two words, people: camp. Fire.
"Darkness Falls" is the latest entertainment product from Revolution Studios, the fledgling distribution outfit founded by former Fox and Disney honcho Joe Roth. Having released such well-received titles as "XXX" and "Punch Drunk Love," the company appears to be profitable, if hardly immune from the occasional turkey infestation ("The Animal"). In the case of "Darkness Falls," the revolution will not be televised, but maybe it should have gone straight to video.