Perhaps a more interesting movie set in the fictitious town of Darkness Falls would have been an action thriller starring a repairman for its electric company. The lights flicker and flat-out die so frequently in this town that he’d probably be dodging bullets from supremely angry customers.
Most anything would be better than what Darkness Falls is — a boring horror movie that is so dark it’s hard to see anything, feels slow even at 75 minutes and is blatantly derivative of other scare flicks such as Jeepers Creepers. (That it even lifts from Jeepers Creepers should be warning enough.)
The film opens with young Kyle Walsh, who has just lost his last baby tooth and professed his first love to his sweetheart, Caitlin Greene. Unfortunately, he’s about to break one of Darkness Falls’ main rules: Don’t look at the Tooth Fairy or she’ll kill you.
Why is the Tooth Fairy evil? Because, according to the movie, she’s the spirit of a hideously disfigured woman from 150 years ago. The woman gave the children of Darkness Falls gold coins for their lost teeth before being lynched on suspicions she murdered two children. Kyle escapes The Tooth Fairy’s wrath, but she kills his mother and he’s sent away to become a ward of the state.
Flash to 12 years later, when Caitlin’s (Emma Caulfield) young, insomniac brother, Michael (Lee Cormie), is making his own claims of seeing The Tooth Fairy. It’s not enough that Cormie is yet another big-faced, pale-cheeked Culkin clan look-a-like — he’s got a speech impediment that makes him sound like Elmer Fudd.
In desperation, Caitlin calls Kyle (Chaney Kley), now living in Vegas on a steady diet of pills, hoping he’ll return to Darkness Falls to help Michael. Kyle does, but reawakens The Tooth Fairy’s anger and he must stop the creature before it can kill Michael.
Darkness Falls is pretty abysmal, namely with its villain who has more rules to keep track of (thrives on the dark, can’t strike in the light, will only kill you if you see her, etc.) than scary moments. And the movie takes itself way too seriously, and only once captures the dumb-fun B-movie vibe it should have had. The loopy logic of a scene in which the characters must jump whole flights of stairs to get from one patch of light to the next is reminiscent of 1989’s Tremors.
But it does get some points for unintentionally funny dialogue, such as “I’m having a bad day, man. A dead guy fell on me,” and “If a man is taking anti-psychotics, I’d think he’d have a tendency to be, well, psychotic.”
Unfortunately, Darkness Falls wants to be scary, which it isn’t in the slightest, largely because it has been edited so poorly that, in some scenes, it’s absolutely impossible to tell what’s going on. About all we know during a police station shoot-out (the Jeepers reference) or a car chase is that The Tooth Fairy is there and there are people screaming and firing weapons.
The movie picks up just a trace of steam for its climax (if only because you can see what’s happening). But even then, it’s clear: Darkness has fallen and it can’t get up.