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Humanity's fear of the dark providesDarkness Fallswith some anxiety and fuels some jolts of fear from things popping out of nowhere. A kindly woman, who used to give children gold coins in exchange for their lost baby teeth, was hanged for a murder she didn't commit; in her last moments she laid a curse on the town (which has the unlikely name of Darkness Falls). So over the years the ghost of this woman has murdered various children because they saw her when she came to collect their teeth. In the present day, a boy who evaded her clutches returns to town as an adult in order to help the young brother of his childhood sweetheart--and from there this incoherent, inane movie is one long chase sequence without a glimmer of imagination or intelligence.--Bret Fetzer
IDENTICAL to Wes Craven Presents They DARKNESS FALLS is a near carbon copy of WES CRAVEN PRESENTS THEY, which was released the year before. If you saw one, you saw both.
In both DARKNESS FALLS and THEY, children are targeted by a monster that lurks in darkness and fears the light. Children see the monster, grow up into sexy twentysomethings, and the monster pursues them. One of them trie to convince the others that the monster is real.
In both films people suffer from "night tremors" and can't get much sleep. The monster picks people off in both films.
Both films are low-budget with few extras, so they look sparsely populated. Both films are real short, running about an hour and 15 minutes, not including credits. Both films are shot outside the US. DARKNESS FALLS in Australia, THEY in Canada.
There are some slight variations. In DARKNESS FALLS the beauty is quicker to believe the guy. In DARKNESS FALLS the monster is the Tooth Fairy, in THEY it's some sort of demon. THEY has a darker ending.
Despite the variations, as I watched DARKNESS FALLS, I quickly felt, "Hey, I've seen this before! This is like that other horror movie about night tremors."
Both merit a three-star rating. They're both smallish horror films, reasonably entertaining -- but only for hardcore horror fans who are forgiving. If you're not the sort of person who sees and enjoys almost every horror film, you may wish to pass this by for a first-rate horror film. There are many: LOST SOULS, SIXTH SENSE, THE HAUNTING (the 1963 film), THE SENTINEL, and many more.
Finally, DARKNESS FALLS has ridiculous script bloopers. For instance, a group of hospital patients and staff are trying to escape a hospital. A nurse pops out and demands to know what's going on. She's told about the Tooth Fairy. She asks, "Should I evacuate the other patients?"
They tell her, No, the Tooth Fairy can only pursue you if you've seen her face. The other patients haven't. Neither has this nurse. They're all safe.
So then, this nurse should return to the other patients, right?
NOT what the idiot filmmakers have her do!
This nurse accompanies these other patients and hospital staff, all of whom have seen the Tooth Fairy and are thus a danger to be around. Amazingly, none of them scream, "Hey, we JUST TOLD YOU that you were safe! Don't follow us! Go back to the other patients!"
Naturally, this nurse is the first one killed by the Tooth Fairy.
Sloppy scriptwriting at its worst.
Worst. Horror. Movie. Ever. This is just bad. If you are contemplating buying this film on blind faith, I'd recommend renting it first just to make sure you won't want to hang yourself in disgust at the thought of $20 dollars and eighty minutes of your life you will never, ever, ever get back.
Problems with the film, hmmm, where to begin . . .
I do believe it boils down to the studio in this case. If you give a listen to the commentary track on the DVD you will notice a certain sheepish guilt, as those involved with the film are aware it is dreadful. But you will also notice recurring references to entire scenes the studio had excised from the film for pacing purposes. Judging from what is said in the commentary, it sounds like maintaining pacing was preferred to any semblance of a coherent plot and story in the film. The resulting film was so chopped down that it actually has to have extra-long, slow scrolling credits just to earn "feature" status, since the MPAA has a minimum running time criteria for that designation.
So what you are left with is zero build up and all bang. Something like, say, "Die Hard" with a demonic tooth fairy playing the role of the heavy in lieu of Eurotrash terrorists. Of course, that analogy ignores the fact that Die Hard at least had a plot, however simplistic, that was not so burdened with holes what you could strain pasta with it. Darkness Falls . . . well, it might come in handy if you are making spaghetti for two or three thousand people.
I suspect that if this movie had been allowed to run for another twenty or thirty minutes it might have been much better -- possibly not, but it certainly could not have been worse for a little time to establish a story and build a little suspense and tension. As it is . . . just dreadful.Why is this constantly slammed? This is NOT a bad movie! I have long accepted the fact that not everybody will like or dislike the same things. Opinions are as diverse as the people who live upon this earth. We all harbor our own individual thoughts and views on different themes of discussion and that, in essence, is what makes diversity so wonderful.
Many legions of horror fans critically castrated "Darkness Falls" upon its initial release. Why that transpired is something I will probably never comprehend. Had I taken all the mad ravings of people who believed this movie was so utterly wretched at face value, I would have gone ahead with the foolhardy assumption that it really was as "lame" and "stupid" as they claimed. That, however, was not the case. "Darkness Falls" is very possibly the single most misunderstood and under-appreciated feature to have seen a major release in recent years. My spouse and I sat through the entire viewing and came away with the combined opinion that there was, in all honesty, not one single thing wrong with this movie. I found Jonathan Liebesman's debut as a director quite impressive. His approach to the story was refreshingly frank and straightforward. He took the time-honored myth of the Tooth Fairy and created a monster that truly terrifies and gives us ample reason to fear the dark.
Horror fans constantly whine that it got a "PG-13" instead of an "R." They appearently went into this production expecting a Tarantino-style bloodbath, and that is not what any frame of this film was intended to represent. What specifically irritates me is the fact that anybody who enjoyed "Darkness Falls" automatically had their integrity as a "true horror fan" called into question. This happens rather more frequently than you may imagine. You can visit any message board that deals directly with the horror genre and see the mud-slinging firsthand. I look at shameful behavior like that and find I can do nothing but simply shake my head in total contempt.
Regardless of what anyone might say to the contrary, this was a decently made and fun-filled horror ride. Do not fall into the trap of giving into the unfair criticism it receives. Take it home and watch it for yourself. It really is worth your time.