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Darkness Falls (2003)

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A vengeful spirit has taken the form of the Tooth Fairy to exact vengeance on the town that lynched her 150 years earlier. Her only opposition is the only child, now grown up, who has survived her before.

Director:

Jonathan Liebesman

Writers:

Joe Harris (story), John Fasano (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chaney Kley ... Kyle
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Caitlin (as Emma Caulfield)
Lee Cormie ... Michael
Grant Piro Grant Piro ... Larry
Sullivan Stapleton ... Matt
Steve Mouzakis ... Dr. Murphy
Peter Curtin Peter Curtin ... Dr. Travis
Kestie Morassi ... Nurse Lauren
Jenny Lovell ... Nurse Alex
John Stanton ... Captain Henry
Angus Sampson ... Ray (as Angus Murray Lincoln Sampson)
Charlotte Rose Charlotte Rose ... Ray's Wife (as Charlotte Rees)
Joshua Anderson Joshua Anderson ... Young Kyle
Emily Browning ... Young Caitlin
Rebecca McCauley Rebecca McCauley ... Kyle's Mom
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Storyline

In the Nineteenth Century, in Darkness Falls, Matilda Dixon is a good woman, who exchanges with children their baby teeth per coins. One day, her face is burnt in a fire in her house, she becomes sensitive to light and uses a china mask to protect her face against light. When two children are not found in the town, Matilda is blamed by the population and burnt in a fire, as if she were a witch. She claims to be not guilty and curses the whole population of the town and their descendants, stating that when each child loses the last tooth, she would come to get it, and if the child looks at her, she would kill him or her. After her death, the two children are found, and the shamed citizens decide to bury this sad and unfair event and never mention it again. Twelve years ago, the boy Kyle accidentally saw the Tooth Fairy, and she killed his mother. All the persons in Darkness Falls but his girlfriend Caitlin accused the boy of murdering his mother and sent him to an institution, ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every Legend Has Its Dark Side. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror and horror images, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 January 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tooth Fairy: The Ghost of Matilda Dixon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,024,917, 26 January 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,551,396

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,488,536
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut of Jonathan Liebesman. See more »

Goofs

It is established early that The Tooth Fairy is afraid of and very sensitive to light. Not just bright light. Any light. Therefore, no one should be able to see her because you need light to see anything. Otherwise, it would be recoiling from the pain of being in a light source. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: It is said that over 150 years ago, in the town of Darkness Falls, Matilda Dixon was adored by all the children. Whenever they would lose a tooth they would bring it to her in exchange for a gold coin, earning her the name, the Toothfairy. But fate was not kind to Matilda. One night fire tore through her home leaving her face horribly scarred. Matilda's burned flesh was so sensitive to light she could only go out at night, always wearing a porcelain mask so no one could ever look ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Revolution Studios logo is tinted brown to tie into the Matilda Dixon backstory opening scene. See more »

Alternate Versions

A longer cut was shown on FX Network's "DVD on TV" with extra scenes not featured on the DVD's deleted scenes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hand of Emptiness
Written and Performed by Brian Tichy
Courtesy of Mastersource
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I enjoyed it more on my second viewing
31 January 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) returns to the small town of Darkness Falls to help his childhood girlfriend, Caitlin Greene (Emma Caulfield), whose brother is hospitalized with severe night terrors. It seems that a town legend of the "Tooth Fairy" is haunting his imagination, and Walsh had similar experiences. Is the "Tooth Fairy" more than just a childhood myth?

It's so much fun watching films multiple times. It's very rare that my opinion remains the same on a film from one viewing to the next. Sometimes my rating goes down, sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it stays the same, but I like or dislike the film for different reasons than I did on my first viewing. Darkness Falls (2003) is a case where my rating has gone up quite a bit since my last encounter with it. I think the difference this time was for two primary reasons--one, when I first saw this in the theater it was in the midst of a slew of horror films that had similar themes, and maybe I was getting tired of it by the time I watched this one, and two, I think the positive aspects worked well enough for me this time that I was more forgiving of the few flaws the film has.

And it does have flaws. Let's get those out of the way first. The main flaw for me was some of the super-fast editing during the horror "action" scenes. Occasionally it was so fast that I couldn't very well tell what was going on. However, I also realized this time that at least occasionally, the editing is perfect for the scene. For example, there is a scene set the small town police station that is inherently chaotic. Chaotic editing is the only thing that would fit.

The other flaw is that there are occasional lapses in plot logic. The most crucial for me occurred during the climax, where there were a couple actions taken that I was a bit confused about. It didn't help that the climax is also slightly marred with hyperactive editing.

However, in both of those cases, the good stuff far outweighed the bad for me. The villain in Darkness Falls is excellent in conception and design. The backstory is captivating. When it's initially told through a "slideshow" during the opening credits, I was thinking that I would have preferred them to give me a 10-minute historical prologue, but in retrospect, I'd prefer to see an entire film that's a prequel telling the villain's story. I loved the small town setting of the film, and the interactions of the characters in the script. They seemed like real people to me, with entwined pasts. I loved the three main characters, and thought their performances were very good. Since I'm a big Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan, that might have supplied Emma Caulfield with some unconscious bonus points, but I loved her acting here.

What really matters in a film like this is the horror material, and director Jonathan Liebesman handles it skillfully. Although I'm not usually a fan of modern films having shorter running times (it was more understandable back in the days of literal A and B films on the same bill at a theater), Darkness Falls is compact because there is little "dead time" between the suspenseful material. Liebesman only spends as much time as necessary with "serious drama" to amplify the horror. These types of scenes were handled well enough to make me either forget or not care if there were any rules broken when it comes to keeping the villain at bay.

Although I'm not someone who finds films scary, I can see Darkness Falls working for many viewers in terms of frights. Many primal fears are touched upon. There is an excellent extended bit in complete darkness (you only hear the soundtrack), and of course darkness and things coming out of the darkness is a major theme throughout. You also get scenes of claustrophobia, loss of control, elevators, hospitals, and many other situations that should work on more receptive viewers' sensibilities.

This one is worth seeing, but approach it more in the frame of mind of a fun roller-coaster ride than a literary masterpiece.


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