Two witchy old ladies that exchange teeth for gifts, have hideous faces and wear black cloaks, and just love to kill children. Fun, fun, fun! It’s Darkness Falls vs. The Tooth Fairy.
DARKNESS FALLS (2003)
Darkness Falls came out at a time when the horror genre was making a mainstream comeback, which led to many PG-13 films that were high on visual style, cheap scares, and cool monsters, but didn’t much impress hardcore fans.
The narrative intro explains how an old lady in the town of Darkness Falls used to give kids coins in exchange for their teeth. When her face was horribly burned in a fire, she began wearing a creepy porcelain mask. And when kids went missing, she was accused of taking them and was killed by the town…but not before putting a curse on it!
The opening scene is its own little amazing, terrifying short film, featuring a boy who lost his final baby tooth and gets a heart-pounding visit from the masked, robed tooth fairy. Legend is, you peek, you see her, you die.
A young Emily Browning of The Uninvited and Sucker Punch makes an appearance as the boy’s little girlfriend.
Flash ahead to the present and young Emily Browning is now all grown, and portrayed by Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Anya’s little brother is now terrified of the dark, so she calls her little boyfriend from years before back to town to help her brother. Thing is, this guy has been avoiding the tooth fairy for all these years and she’s still waiting to kill him. And unfortunately, he arrives in Darkness Falls just in time for a fricking blackout!
Darkness Falls pretty much turns into a SyFy Network movie. The tooth fairy is definitely cool and the main premise—that she snags you if you step out of the light and into darkness—is a frightening concept, but the movie tends to break its own rules constantly. The tooth fairy is supposed to come for you if you actually see her, yet she randomly plucks people away and kills them nonstop!
Not to mention, she can’t go into light yet there are numerous times she’s being exposed to it and doesn’t flinch. Take, for example, the big climactic ending at the top of a lighthouse. It’s a fricking lightning storm but that doesn’t stop her from flying around the lighthouse.
And after a while, you get sick of hearing the main guy blandly repeating “stay in the light” over and over again.
THE TOOTH FAIRY (2006)
Amazing that it took three years to release a cheap slasher knockoff. Just like Darkness Falls, The Tooth Fairy has an awesome intro. It’s 1949 and a boy enters the creepy house of an old lady who offers gifts to kids in exchange for their teeth. This robed witchy looking freak wants more than the boy’s tooth though. She wants his soul!
Years later, cutie Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie, Freddy vs. Jason, Needful Things, Dracula 2000) has bought her house and turned it into a bed & breakfast. Pretty soon, his girlfriend’s daughter (she’s awesome) is hanging out in the woods with an odd little girl in old-fashioned clothing, the local rednecks are harassing the family, and someone in a black robe is going around killing people.
This movie is a hot mess and a little slow at times, but it’s also so damn watchable. The characters at the B&B are all likable, there’s a hot young farmhand who walks around sweaty and shirtless, the atmosphere is creepy, the tooth fairy killer is scary, and the gore is impressively gruesome, including a fricking castration that shows the severed goods! There’s even some cheesy humor.
This tooth fairy, who was an old lady in 1949, has interesting taste in weapons: nail gun, wood chipper, axe. Horror icon P.J. Soles appears as a mysterious cloaked neighbor who tries to warn them of the witchy tooth fairy; she tries to speak in this sort of ominous old English style that not only makes no sense, but which she totally can’t pull off. Worst cameo ever. There’s also a cemetery full of ghost children waiting to get their spirits back from the tooth fairy.
And finally, there’s a hot pre-sex scene that had more going on than meets the eye. I couldn’t help wonder why, when the chick goes to freshen up, the hunky musician (scorching hot Steve Bacic) she’s about to bang prepares for her return…by spanking his ass then laying face down on his belly on the bed….