Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Darkness Falls (2003)

logoDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: John Fasano, James Vanderbilt, Joe Harris (Screenplay) Joe Harris (Story)

Starring: Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Grant Piro, Sullivan Stapleton, Steve Mouzakis, Peter Curtin, Kestie Morassi, Jenny Lovell, Joshua Anderson, Emily Browning

 

Plot: 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.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Short but Sweet

 

Story: Darkness Falls starts by explaining the legend of Matilda Dixon who was a loved member of the town who used to give coins to the children of the town after they lose their teeth gaining her the nickname ‘The Tooth Fairy’. After a fire she became disfigured but the town burns her when two children don’t come home, she puts curses on the town and after the children are found safe the town of Darkness Falls buries the secret. Matilda curse reads ‘What I took before in kindness, I will take forever in revenge’.

We see young Kyle (Anderson) lose his final baby tooth he does what every kid does and puts it under his pillow but when he gets suddenly awaken by the noise of the Tooth Fairy he catches a glimpse at her. Kyle’s life is going to change forever when the Tooth Fairy kills his mother but can’t get to him because of the light.

12 years later we get to meet a grown up version of Kyle’s school sweetheart Caitlin (Caulfield) whose own little brother Michael (Cormie) is struggling with the same problem hiding in the light. Caitlin reaches out to Kyle (Kley) who she hasn’t seen since the night out his mother’s death trying to find answers. Kyle decides to return to Darkness Falls to help even if he hasn’t got over the problem. When a local gets killed by the Tooth Fairy the town turns on Kyle framing him for the murder. Caitlin must team up with Kyle to save her brother and end the curse once and for all.

Darkness Falls is a horror film that builds on legend that children are led to believe and turns it dark, we all know the idea of the tooth fairy coming to take teeth in exchange for money and we all know it is all fake, but add in an urban legend you do actually get a frightening idea. I can’t help but want to compare this to ‘The Boogeyman’ having very similar storyline and yes I know this came out first. I feel this has good moments but I don’t quite understand how the Tooth Fairy suddenly went on a murderous rampage because she starts out slowly stalking the prey but suddenly just bursts into room to kill as many people as possible. I also feel the film is too short but then again because it is short it never seems to want to let you take a breath. This is one the horror fans will enjoy but don’t expect too much from it. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Chaney Kley: Kyle Walsh is the traumatised young man who has been frightened of the dark for most of his life after seeing the Tooth Fairy at a young age. He returns to the town to help his childhood sweethearts little brother and to face his demon ending the curse once and for all. Chaney does a solid job but I can’t help but think he is a cheaper Ryan Reynolds. (6/10)

 kyle

Emma Caulfield: Caitlin Greene is the former sweetheart of Kyle whose younger brother is now being haunted by the Tooth Fairy, she reconnects with Kyle hoping to get the answers. Emma does a solid job but never really gets enough time to do much in the film. (5/10)

 

Lee Cormie: Michael Greene is the one boy being haunted by the Tooth Fairy that Kyle has returned to town to help. Lee does gives us a terrified child performance which works very well in the film. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Darkness Falls has a supporting cast that really is all disposable characters that don’t really do much for the film.

 

Director Review: Jonathan Liebesman – Jonathan does give us a very standard horror that doesn’t give too much new to the genre. (6/10)

 

Horror: Darkness Falls has plenty of easy jump scares but doesn’t build the tension is needed. (5/10)

Thriller: Darkness Falls doesn’t let you go from the first return and keeps things going at a steady pace throughout. (7/10)

Settings: Darkness Falls uses the small isolated town for the story which works to make the urban legend become more realistic. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Darkness Falls has good effects for the tooth fairy creation. (8/10)

Suggestion: Darkness Falls is one for the horror fans to enjoy but just enjoy don’t expect too much. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Urban legend turned dark is nice touch.

Worst Part: Too short.

Scariest Scene: Opening sequence.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Boogeyman

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $47.5 Million

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: Stay In The Light!

Trivia: The closing credits run for 11 minutes. This is because without the extra time, the movie would have been considered too short to release theatrically.

 

Overall: Darkness Falls is a solid horror that has good jump scares that will keep the popcorn fans happy but won’t satisfy the true horror fans.

Rating 60

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Wolf Creek (2005)

logoDirector: Greg Mclean

Writer: Greg Mclean (Screenplay)

Starring: John Jarratt, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi, Nathan Phillips

 

Plot: Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Australian Shocker

 

Story: Wolf Creek starts by giving us the figures of missing people in Australia and that 10% are never heard from again. We are in the year 1999 and we meet Ben Mitchell (Phillips) along two friends Liz (Magrath) and Kristy (Morassi) travelling around Australia partying and just having fun. After a wild night or partying the three head off to a location called Wolf Creek, cue the montage of travelling across the beautiful Australia outback with a feel good song.

As the journey continues we get the teasing will they won’t romance between Ben and Kristy as they finally make it to Wolf Creek. The three spend the day at Wolf Creek one of the most picture perfect sites in Australia, but returning to the car they find it broken down. Having to spend the night in the outbreak they get a visit during the night from Mick Taylor (Jarratt) who offers to help them get back on the road. Mick takes the friends back to his place which ends up being over hours away where he continues to be the welcoming guest.

Waking up the we find Kristy tired up in a shed alone, she searches for the rest of the friends on the site only to hear Liz screaming and being tortured by Mick. The girls find themselves fighting for their lives against the outback serial killer.

Wolf Creek tell a very simple but Shockley true potential story. The idea is thrown to us as based on a true story but the reality is that it isn’t, the only truth in this story is that people do go missing in the outback and some never get heard from again. We do get a long build just meeting the three friends and we do get a nice steady paced final half that shows what is going on when Mick gets his hands on his latest victims. I do think this story is easy enough to follow and will be enjoyed by the horror fans out there. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

John Jarratt: Mick Taylor starting out as a friendly passer-by he slowly turns out to be a serial killer who picks people up from the outback to be his latest victims. Mick is deadly and knows the outback like the back of his hand. John does a good job as the villain that will shock with his calmness while committing the action he does. (7/10)

 

Cassandra Magrath: Liz Hunter the best friend of Kristy who ends up becoming the third wheel on the adventure and having to put up the longest fight against Mick. Cassandra does a solid job in the supporting victim role. (6/10)

 

Kestie Morassi: Kristy Earl the smartest of the three who tries to work out an idea to survive once she finds herself trapped with Mick, she does plan the best but only ends up getting herself caught up in the chase. Kestie does a good job as the smart victim. (7/10)

 

Nathan Phillips: Ben Mitchell the lone man of the three who is enjoying the party lifestyle as well as the travelling but also becomes a victim of one of the games that Mick wants to play. Nathan does a solid job but because of the script he almost disappears in the final act. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: Wolf Creek doesn’t really have any major supporting characters and anyone we meet is only in one scene.

 

Director Review: Greg Mclean – Greg does a good job directing this putting us in a situation with a real shock with the action and potential that could really happen. (7/10)

 

Horror: Wolf Creek ends up putting our characters in a real horrific position. (9/10)

Thriller: Wolf Creek does start slowly but once we meet Mick we really start to get the will they won’t they survive idea. (6/10)

Settings: Wolf Creek gives the characters a real sense of isolation once Mick takes them to his place. (9/10)

Suggestion: Wolf Creek is one for all the horror fans to enjoy, but if you don’t like horror I wouldn’t suggest watching. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Sniper time.

Worst Part: Slow starting.

Oh My God Moment: Spine Cracking.

 

Believability: The going missing could happen but the serial killer less so. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 3 and Nominated for a further 24 Awards through Horror and Australia.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $28 Million

Budget: $1 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: How can you be found when no-one knows you’re missing?

Trivia: A very eerie coincidence occurred for the second unit crew sent out to get footage of the Wolf Creek Crater. Since the location was many hours from any town the small crew decided to camp out in their car at the site after shooting. During the night a mysterious stranger showed up in a truck to investigate. The stranger indeed looked very much like the character of Mick Taylor, right down to the rustic truck. The stranger left, but the crew was so spooked that they drove an hour down the road before finally stopping to camp for the night.

 

Overall: Wolf Creek is one of the best shock horror films in recent years and if you can get through the slow start you will be rewarded.

Rating 68