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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 60: Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls
Well, pick it up!

You ever have preconceptions of a movie just based on it's name? I had that when it came to Darkness Falls. I remember seeing commercials for it where we were introduced to the town of Darkness Falls. I don't remember anything else from the commercial because my brain automatically shut off. Town of Darkness Falls? Oh, you mean like the town of Silent Hill? That thought has always stuck with me. Maybe bad stuff happens to these towns because they have such ominous names. You never hear of a monster attacking Sunshineville or Hugtown. Crystal Lake doesn't count. I finally decided to put my preconceived notions aside and watch this movie.

Darkness Falls begins with the tale of Matilda Dixon. Matilda is adored by the town's children and would give them a coin for every lost tooth that they gave her, earning her the nickname “Tooth Fairy.” After a fire, Matilda is horrifically burned, must wear a porcelain mask over her face, and can only go out at night. When two children disappear, Matilda is blamed and hanged. She promised vengeance and put a curse on the town. The missing children turn up the next day and the town keeps her death a secret. The story proper begins with a young Kyle Walsh, who has just lost his final baby tooth. He hears a rustling in his room and actually sees Matilda. Kyle escapes to a well lit bathroom which keeps Matilda away, but she murders his mother instead. Kyle is blamed and is sent away to a mental hospital. Twelve years pass, and Kyle is called back to Darkness Falls by his former childhood crush, Caitlin. Caitlin's younger brother suffers from night terrors and fear of the dark, similar to how Kyle had been diagnosed. Michael knows Kyle has seen Matilda and asks Kyle to protect him. Kyle tries to warn people that Matilda is murdering people and the only way to stay safe is to stay in the light. With the body count rising and Michael's life in danger, will Kyle be able to convince Caitlin and others that the Tooth Fairy is real and will kill them all?

If I move it real fast, I can spell my name

The story told in Darkness Falls isn't very original: Supernatural creature haunts one particular person and nobody believes him. Usually we see this with children as the main character. We actually get that with Michael, played by a great Lee Cormie. He plays the scared little boy in peril very well. The problem, though, is that he isn't the main character. I find it hard to believe that no one would listen to a grown man for years. There were murders before Kyle's incident and even though Kyle was gone, there had to have been more murders. It's even hinted at by one of the older police officers. The police force in Darkness Falls must've studied at the Barney Fife School of Police Work. Sure guys, just ignore that the victims all had monstrous claw marks across their face. Just blame the weird guy and call it a day.

Besides Michael, the acting is mediocre to poor. Most of the characters are unlikable, and combined with a mediocre, played-out plot, there isn't much more else to focus on. The movie gives you plenty of “startled” moments where something jumps out and there's a big music swell. The Tooth Fairy is kind of scarey with it's fast movements and agility. I would say that the weird, groan sound that it makes it pretty unsettling, but we already saw that same technique used in Ju-On and it's American remake The Grudge. Both of those came out before Darkness Falls. I literally said to myself “Wow, the sound is pretty creepy, I wonder...heeeeeey, wait a minute. I've seen this before!”

Yeah, I've also seen Phantom of the Opera too

I can safely say that Darkness Falls was not anything like the movie or video game, Silent Hill. Of course, I've now had Killswitch Engage's “When Darkness Falls” stuck in my head all day. It's not terribly original and the acting is severely lacking. Young Lee Cormire blows the other actors away, especially because he is so young. The movie does have a few scares and startling moments, but nothing seasoned horror fans haven't seen before. Darkness Falls is an okay watch, but nothing great.


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