"As a young boy, Kyle Walsh saw something no one is supposed to see...and live. Less fortunate was Kyle's mother, murdered in a night of raving terror from which Kyle has never recovered even twelve years later. Now he's coming home to Darkness Falls, to confront his childhood fear, and save his beloved Caitlin and her younger brother from a nightmarish doom...
Though it got off to a good start at the box office in 2003, DARKNESS FALLS quickly floundered and is not widely appreciated by many horror fans. Despite its decidedly mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, DARKNESS FALLS won me over the first time I saw it and it continues to entertain today.
Exploring both humanity's general fear of the dark as well as the theme of childhood trauma that can shape one's life forever, DARKNESS FALLS is a fast-moving supernatural thriller that scores high marks for an original concept, interesting monster, empathetic characters, and atmospheric suspense. Chaney Kley captures all of Kyle's angst and obsessiveness perfectly, and Emma Caulfield is appealing as Kyle's childhood sweetheart Caitlin, caught up in a nightmare from which she cannot awake. Children in peril are often a bust in scary movies, but Lee Cormie is excellent in his role as the benighted Michael and provides a highly believable catalyst to bring Kyle and Caitlin back together. The monster is scary and realistic, another knockout job from Stan Winston Studio, and turning the Tooth Fairy legend on its darkside makes for an ingenious and decidedly wicked new bogeyman.
One reason DARKNESS FALLS disappointed at the box office is that it is, after all, a PG-13 film in a genre in which a very hard "R" rating is par for the course. Lacking the splattering gore of many horror films, as well as the gratuitous nudity, DARKNESS FALLS perhaps came across as too "tame" for some. Director Jonathan Liebesman took a lot of the blame, but unnecessarily so, as the look, feel, and pacing of DARKNESS FALLS are all excellent. Often compared to the more popular THE RING, DARKNESS FALLS is clearly a very different movie, sharing with its rival only the theme of a haunted child.
Though mine may be a minority opinion, I consider DARKNESS FALLS to be perhaps the best horror movie since the remake of THE MUMMY in the 90s. Relying more on creativity for its shocks than the normal blood & guts, DARKNESS FALLS succeeds at least in part because it doesn't give in to certain genre conventions. If you're looking for something different in a scary movie, give DARKNESS FALLS a try--I don't think you'll be disappointed."
Better than you think...
Anyanka | 04/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone thinks Darkness Falls sucks, giving it 2 or less stars. But come on people! It's not that scary, but it's spooky. It makes you kind of paranoid if you just watched it at night. It's quickly become my favorite horror movie, and it's unfair that people won't give it a chance. The actors and actresses are the best of the best, and it definately is worth seeing and buying. Don't listen to the pessimists. It's better than I thought!"
I would give it more stars if I could!
Duane S. Melli | the USA | 04/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DARKNESS FALLS is, in my opinion, one of the scariest, most original horror films in years and it will end up becoming one of my guilty peasurres. It is perfet to watch on a dark and stormy night and you won't want to stay in complete darkness anymore. See it, it's very good and do not believe the criticts. they're just rating it badly because they are all comparing it to THE RING, and even though this was excellent, it is no match for THE RING."
Famous Last Words, and Things That Go Bump In the Night
Bruce Rux | Aurora, CO | 01/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) spent nine years in an asylum for the murder of his mother in the small coastal town of Darkness Falls, when he was just a boy. He swears he didn't do it - that the real culprit was the "Tooth Fairy," a local ghost-witch/boogeyman, who takes childrens' last baby teeth but relentlessly pursues them to death if they are so presumptuous as to steal a peek at her disfigured visage. Now an adult, Kyle can't get through a single night without a flashlight, because the Tooth Fairy can't strike in anything but darkness.Kyle's old childhood flame, Caitlin Greene (Emma Caulfield), tracks down Kyle and solicits his return to Darkness Falls to help her kid brother, Michael (Lee Cormie), who - like Kyle - suffers from insomnia due to night-terrors. Neither she, nor her lawyer fiancee Larry (Grant Piro) believe in Kyle's "Tooth Fairy" - nor do the local constabulary, when another body turns up in Kyle's vicinity. But their skepticism diminishes, when the Tooth Fairy becomes more aggressive in her pursuit of Kyle and Michael, soon threatening the entire town of Darkness Falls.This movie is short on logic, but long on scares. It's an old-fashioned horror film of famous last words - "See? There was nothing there!" - which are invariably the cue for the Tooth Fairy to swoop down out of the shadows at lightning speed, thence to abduct her victims to isolated locations for murder and mayhem.Director Jonathan Liebesman makes the most of light and shadows, and of a great, unsettling soundtrack that underlies the entire proceedings. Experienced monster-maker Stan Winston provides the genuinely grisly and unsettling Tooth Fairy, almost scarier in her featureless Gray-alien ghost mask than in her later-revealed grotesquely fire-scarred visage. The production is gorgeous, and the cast are really terrific - especially principals Kley and Caulfield (the latter fresh from her role as Anya in the popular series Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Lee Cormie as the earnestly intense suffering little boy. The imagery is nightmarishly unsettling, and highly memorable.The whole thing comes in at just 75 minutes, making it one hell of a fast and furious ride. Don't question it. Just jump on, and hold tight. It's a perfect popcorn movie: meant for quick consumption, not at all thought-provoking, and intended for thrills only.Bring a date. Believe me, she'll be grabbing onto you like you were Brad Pitt."
Deja vu all over again
Bruce Rux | 05/12/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD cover hypes it as even scarier than The Ring, but never believe the hype. The fact is that Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to make horror films if it ever knew how, and what passes for horror is really just a special category of action film, with supernatural entities substituting for the terrorist, drug lord, and white slaver villains who infest the pure action genre.Darkness Falls begins in a conventionally Stephen King-ish way. The protagonist, an early teen who has just lost his last tooth, receives a visit from his local tooth fairy, who is not in the habit of leaving money under the pillow. But she bungles the job, killing his mother instead and landing him in an institution, blamed for her death. Twelve years later he returns, drawn back by a plea from his former girlfriend to help her younger brother, who is next on the tooth fariy's hit list. No, don't ask what she has been doing all those years in between.Soon after this conventionally Stephen King-ish beginning, the movie begins to fall apart in a conventionally Hollywood-ish way. The tooth fairy goes ballistic for some reason and, possibly to make up for lost time, starts killing everyone in sight. Well, not "in sight" exactly; she can't stand the light, so they have to be in the dark in order for her to get them. At this point the movie cycles through the usual chase scenes through a dark empty building, an SUV careening along a country road, and culminates in a conventional shootout at the OK Lighthouse."