Review Date: January 22, 2003
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Writer: John Fasano, James Vanderbilt, Joseph Harris
Producers: John Fasano, John Hegeman, William Sherak, Jason Shuman
A guy who was scared of the dark as a child, grows up, but never grows out of his fear (I'm the same way, but with peanut butter). When an old friend calls him back to town to help her little brother get through his own "night terrors", our buddy falls back into the habit of seeing a ghostly "tooth fairy" coming to get him in the darkness. It isn't long before the whole town is calling him a "kook" and even less time before those very same people are running for their lives. A boogey-woman story ensues.
Have you seen THEY? Okay, take that premise, you know, the whole thing about "night terrors"-- being afraid of the dark and all that shit-- chop off about 15 minutes, feature two one-dimensional lead characters instead of a foursome, replace the creepy creatures by one creepy old bag...et voila! You've got yourself one of the lamest-titled flicks of the year (that's right, the town is called Darkness Falls...gimme a break!) and one of the most forgettable "horror" movies that I've seen since...well, THEY, I guess. Filled with plot holes, bad dialogue, very little tension, a few "boo" scares and an idiotic town of people, the only scary thing about this movie would be the price of any admission to go see it. Despite a pretty charged second half (which reminded me a lot of the second half of JEEPERS CREEPERS) and plenty of "whooshes", this flick isn't all that interesting, despite a cool setup about a "tooth fairy" out for revenge. In fact, the opening 10 minutes is probably the film's best part! (which is why it's no surprise that the studio decided to slap that entire introduction on the Internet for free, a week before the movie opened-GREAT marketing move!) This is the kind of movie in which a character will ultimately turn to another and say: "This was a mistake", just to go through the whole "soap opera" of walking away, being coerced back, etc... The kind of movie in which the lead character's screen test probably consisted of him saying "Stay in the light" about a million times, since that's pretty all he says throughout this entire picture. The kind of movie in which a small town of 12,000 people coincidentally happen to have the "sensory deprivation chamber" needed to help a little boy with "night terrors", as well as the least confident doctor in the world and the biggest moron cops. Bah!
The directing was interesting at times, but I could have done without the half dozen BLAIR WITCH-esque shots, with the camera moving around so fast that I could barely make anything out. The "ghost" lady was pretty decent though, at least graphic-wise (reminded me of SPAWN), but we never really connected to her, and half the time, folks seemed to be "in the light" and yet she'd still be flying around and shit. Me confused. In the end, this film will zip by faster than one of your own patented farts and provide even less to think about afterwards. The two leads are okay, but we never really get to know them either. Everyone who dies is nobody to us, so we don't care. The second half is energetic, I'll give it that, but unless you've been brought up to respond to energy alone (and zero emotion), you might have a little fun, but certainly not enough to warrant a complete "thumbs up". The film does feature one of the funnier lines of the year though as one of the "soon the be killed off" police officers, walks through all the mayhem caused by the tooth fairy and says: "All this for a tooth?" Hilarious! Other than that, download the first 10 minutes off the Net and you should be okay. Otherwise, don't expect to be particularly pulled in by this lame tale, which offers very little substance, some style, uncharismatic characters and plenty of unsubstantial chaos. PS: I know I ain't the smartest dude in the world, but if this beeyatch will only leave you alone when you are in the light...how about making a huge bonfire and roasting marshmallows around it until the cows come home? Just an idea. But I guess running into a dark room and locking the door is another way to go. C'mon!!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian