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DARKNESS FALLS

You have to admire a film that tries to position the Tooth Fairy as the next Freddy Krueger. Legend has it that in sleepy Darkness Falls, a child upon losing his last baby tooth will be visited — and perhaps killed — by the ghost of an old townswoman who years ago used to reward children for losing teeth, until she was wrongly hanged for the murder of two boys. Nobody believes this malarkey — save for Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley), who’s been haunted by the Tooth Fairy since his last molar shook loose. Now living in Las Vegas, Kyle returns to Darkness Falls at the behest of his childhood sweetheart, whose little brother is also being tormented by this cavity creep. In no particular order, Kyle must battle the skeptical town police, his own memories, and the Tooth Fairy herself.

What’s puzzling about Darkness Falls is how little the story or the scares end up having to do with teeth. It seems clear that director Jonathan Liebesman has never needed dental work. Instead, we get a conventional, mildly frightening, low-grade horror flick with some humor (often unintentional) and as many gaps as a seven-year-old’s mouth. (85 minutes)

BY MARK BAZER

Issue Date: January 30 - February 6, 2003
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