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Darkness Falls (2003)

When the tooth fairy comes, don’t peek

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 85 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

The small town of Darkness Falls harbours a dark secret. More to the point, it also has a ridiculously appropriate name. For, when darkness does actually fall (geddit?), the tooth fairy comes out to play. That's right – the tooth fairy. The only problem is, she's doing a little more than handing out small change for wobbly molars.

It all started 150 years ago, when a kindly old biddy by the name of Matilda Dixon decided to place a curse on her hometown. The townsfolk had been more than happy to let their kiddies visit her house exchanging their teeth for coins (a little peculiar in itself, if you ask me), but got the heebie-jeebies when she burned her face in a horrific accident and started wandering around at night in a porcelain mask. So, instead of showing her a bit of sympathy, they accused her of kidnapping a couple of kids and decided to hang her. The ankle-biters in question turned up unharmed the next day – oops.

Into modern day and her spirit is causing all sorts of problems, masquerading as the tooth fairy and slaughtering all those who catch a glimpse of her face (and if you think she's no looker with the mask on, just wait until the climax). Kyle (Chaney Kley) had a narrow escape as a child but now has to spend his entire life keeping out of the dark so that our tooth-gathering trouble-maker can't get to him. And, to make matters worse, his ex-girlfriend's kid brother (Lee Cormie) is also finding himself in a spot of bother whenever anyone turns the lights off.

Cue shocks a-plenty as what starts out as a decent idea swiftly degenerates into mass over-indulgence and ever-so-slight farce. Director Jonathan Liebesman adds no shortage of textbook fright techniques, but ends up going so over the top that you swiftly become desensitised to it all. A little less running around screaming and a little more atmosphere and this could have been a pretty good chiller – but, unfortunately, it's not.

It's Got: Lots of things going bump in the night.

It Needs: To add some tension and suspense.


Plenty of screaming and shrieking, but very little substance.