February 14, 2003
By Veronica Mixon
The good news about Darkness Falls
is that the first fifteen minutes is scary as
hell! The bad news is that many people in the
audience at the screening I attended bailed out
earlier and decided that the film was very silly.
The idea of a murderous ghost who is a cross between
the tooth fairy and the boogey man, I mean woman
is intriguing. However, the chase becomes predictable.
Fall, also the name of small town in Maine,
was the place where... once upon a time a kindly
young woman would give the town's children money
for their baby teeth. After she was badly scared
in a fire, she began to wear a mask to cover her
face. When a couple of kids go missing, she's
accused of harming them and quickly hanged. Just
before dying, she curses the town and vows revenge.
Days later, the kids are found and the townspeople,
ashamed of their actions, bury their dirty deed.
But, the woman's angry Ghost appears to collect
the children's baby teeth and if you happen to
peer at her face, she kills you!
the legend, which in present day no one believes
even though the Ghost (Antony Burrows) has been
haunting the town for 150 years! As a kid, Kyle
(Joshua Anderson) witnessed the vengeful Matilda's
murderous wrath when she killed his mother in
his darkened room. The adult Kyle (Chaney Kley)
lives in Las Vegas (where there is always light)
on anti-psychotic drugs and carries a satchel
filled with flashlights because he's still traumatized
by his mother's death. He's still not sure about
the Ghost until his childhood sweetheart Caitlin
(Emma Caufield from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
calls him about her little brother, who is experiencing
the same things.
Kyle returns home, the Ghost begins taking out
his old school chums and the various towns' people
who cross her path as she pursues Kyle and the
kid. The opening bedroom scene is terrifying and
it will have you jumping out of your seat. However,
while it proves that first-time director, Jonathan
Liebesman can craft horror if he puts his mind
to it, it's the cheap shots like a black cat leaping
out of nowhere that disappoints audiences. And,
of course, the Ghost's appearance isn't that scary.
always wondered how to do you kill something that
is already dead - well, unfortunately, Darkness
Fall does not have an original solution.
Hopefully, Liebesman's skill will grow with experience.