Monday, December 2, 2013

Film Review: Darkness Falls (2003)

Darkness Falls (Review)
United States/2003
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...delivers plenty of jump scares along with some great suspense..."

Hundreds of years ago, in the small town of Darkness Falls, Matilda Dixon was deemed the "Tooth Fairy" as she would give children a gold coin in exchange for their loose teeth. She becomes disfigured from a vicious house fire, and when two young boys disappear, Matilda is accused and executed -- but before her final breath, she places a curse on the town...

Fast forward to the present, a young boy named Kyle Walsh becomes a target of the Tooth Fairy when he takes a peak. With his mother slaughtered by the Tooth Fairy, Kyle is sent to a mental hospital. Fast forward again and we see Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) is needed in his old town where a similar incident is occurring to his childhood crush's younger brother. So, the story continues as Kyle tries to aid the young boy and his old friends without seeming crazy. The Tooth Fairy's weakness is light and they use that against her to elude her swift movements. The film's ending is cheesy; "a cringe-worthy one-liner accompanied by a Falcon Punch of sorts" kinda cheesy.

Darkness Falls is a horror film and a solid one at that. This is filled with loud-noise jump scares -- really, one at every corner for every movement. Some fail, but some work well thanks to the use of suspense and tension. Although some moments aren't very effective, Darkness Falls is a consistent horror thrill ride without much breathing room. The Tooth Fairy's design is creepy and her movements are fast and intimidating; her movements along with her eerie sounds make for an ominous presence. The characters aren't developed nor are their relationships. Also, some of the dialogue is poorly fitted and cheesy, particularly with the children. Every child in Darkness Falls speaks like an adult, their dialogue is poorly written and ill-fitted.

The acting is okay from most of the cast. Much of the dialogue is delivered in a very robotic manner, and when you mix that with cheesy dialogue, you get some mediocre performances. The special effects are great -- again, I really like the Tooth Fairy's design and her movements. I like the story and the urban legend theme of the film. Jonathan Liebesman's direction is also consistent, but it doesn't bring out much from the cast. Otherwise, it's a technically basic film -- not bad or exceptional, really.

Overall, Darkness Falls is a good horror film. It delivers plenty of jump scares along with some great suspense, and the story and concept is great. However, the dialogue is bad and some performances are mediocre, and it has a poor ending. For a one hour fifteen minute film, though, this is definitely an effective time killer.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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