I expected to be as frightened by Darkness Falls as I was by They, mostly because both horror flicks deal with "night terrors" Ė which I find extremely scary just thinking about. So why didnít I get any goose bumps or sink down in my seat even once during Darkness Falls? Easy. The movie itself was too dark. Maybe itís my poor eyesight, but I had trouble making out what was happening in many scenes that, Iím sure, were designed to evoke a fear reaction. Ironic, because the warning stated again and again by characters on screen is "Stay in the light." Too bad filmmakers didnít follow that advice.
In all fairness, the plot involves a ghostly figure with a Tooth Fairy complex who has the power to kill people only when itís completely dark. This evil spirit becomes enraged if anyone looks at her. When alive, her face was grotesquely scarred in a fire accidentally caused by two children. As the evil Tooth Fairy, she now has it in for kiddies who see her when she visits them at night to take those little teeth they put under their pillows.
Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley), one of those youngsters who is now grown-up, still carries bags of flashlights around with him wherever he goes. Just when he gets settled in Las Vegas, his former girlfriend (Emma Caulfield) calls him back to the town of Darkness Falls to help her little brother (Lee Cormie), who might be the Tooth Fairyís next victim.
Although the filmís main actors are appealing, I found the characters they play lacking in depth, even for a horror film. Most of the time, all thatís required of Kley (Legally Blonde) is to furrow his brow. Caulfield ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") only needs a one-note worried expression, and newcomer Cormie just imitates Haley Joel Osment ("I see a Tooth Fairy"). On a positive note, I predict these three attractive actors will do much better in their future roles Ė which surely will be more fleshed-out than the ones in Darkness Falls.
Thereís a lot of noise and blurry action in Darkness Falls Ė like the start of my worst migraines. Lightning, thunder, car crashes, cat screeches and so forth come when you least expect them, and thatís kinda fun. But the ghastly Tooth Fairy figure is about as scary as Joan Rivers in a Halloween costume. No, wait. Joan is too scary. Make that Dick Clark.
(Released by Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studios and rated "PG-13" for images of terror and horror.)