Urban Legends are things of kids nightmares.
All great urban legends have to have brilliant back stories like the Mothman, Screaming Banshee of and as of 2003, Matilda Dixon.
Matilda Dixon was a lonely widower who gave the children in her in the town of Darkness Falls a gold coin when the lost a tooth. Justified, the people of the community began to call her “The Tooth Fairy”. There was a terrible fire in Matilda’s home which left her disfigured causing her to wear a ceramic mask and to only go out at night because of photosensitivity. One day two children of the town went missing, a mob of citizens assumed it was Matilda and hung her from a tree tearing off her mask. Before she died she cursed Darkness Falls with her wrath. The day after, the two missing kids were found and the townsmen covered up what was now a dark secret. The legend is that on the night a child looses their last tooth Matilda will seek it out and if the child is to look at her face She will reek her vengeance.
“What i took before in kindness, I will take forever in revenge.” -Matilda Dixon
The back story to “Darkness Falls” is excellent. Matilda Dixon is awesome! Even when alive she sounds like she was a bit on the creepy fucked up side. Who collects teeth from random kids? WHO? No one, because if friggin’ weird.
The movie starts 150 years after Matilda‘s death. We are introduced to a young Kyle Walsh (Joshua Anderson). The first scene is Him working out his last tooth with a nice amount of bloody snot spit. Pan to a shot of the outside of the house insinuating a force of some kind is watching. Kyle‘s Mother tells him to get some rest and leave the room. The bedroom window opens and his friend/crush Caitlin Greene (Emily Browning: Sucker Punch) crawls through. After some discussion about a party and a date she reminds Kyle of “The Tooth Fairy/Matilda“.
Kyle discovers the urban legend is much more reality based when Matilda makes her way through the shadows and into his shaking eyes. By using his flashlight he figures out light keeps her at bay. He makes his way to the bathroom and desperately tries to explain to his Mother what is going on. He is brushed off. She goes to his bedroom only to see Matilda and succumb to a strongly implied horrific death.
Kyle waits out the night in the bathroom and when the police arrive the next day. He is taken to an asylum and accused of killing his own Mother.
At this point the movie is still pretty good. It would have been great just to follow Kyle at this age and see what happens to him and how he survives into adulthood. After the police car dives off the movie takes a turn for the worst. It is still entertaining, but looses its appeal.
By far the best part of the movie is the first 14 minutes.
Cut to Caitlin 12 years later (Emma Caulfield: BTVS) in a hospital getting care for her younger brother Michael (Lee Cormie: Underbelly Files: Tell Them Lucifer Was Here ) who has become terrified of the dark and unable to sleep since loosing his last tooth.
The Doctors claim Michael‘s issues are all psychological. In desperation Caitlin contacts Kyle (Chaney Kley: Jimmy and Judy) and asks him to come and help her brother. The audience now has the information that Kyle like Michael is still afraid of the dark and suffers from night terrors.
Kyle meets Michael, realizes that Matilda has visited and been seen by the child. The film goes back and forth from Kyle attempting to convince people the myth is real to the disbelieves dying.
There is a pretty good rack of dead bodies in this movie for its PG13 rating.
Let us skip to the end of the movie.
Kyle figures out how to destroy Matilda once and for all and everyone who is still alive lives happily ever after.
As stated above, the beginning of “Darkness Falls” is the most watchable. Yes, there are one or two notable death scenes, but nothing else really happens. It is predictable and for the most part boring.
The acting is good, heck, I have partially seen this movie almost five times now. Directing, editing, casting.. all good. There is just some thing wrong with this movie that is hard to put my finger on. Perhaps if it had a R rating it would have had a chance to be a really good movie.