|release date||August 8 2006|
|writer||Dan Farrands, Carolyn Davis|
|starring||Lochlyn Munro, Nicole Muñoz, Chandra West, Karin Konoval, Jianne Ballard, P.J. Soles, Jessie Hutch, Carrie Anne Fleming|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
Remember the good old days, when Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Uncle Sam were just cutesy little tales that made people feel a bit better about their pathetic little lives. This was eons before the likes of Jack “He’s chilling and killing” Frost and Santa’s Slay drowned our beloved pop culture icons in crimson rivers of celluloid and seas of gruesome gore gags.
A few years ago, childhood icons clearly running in short supply, Sony Pictures released the laughable horror film Darkness Falls about, amongst other things, a killer Tooth Fairy. Although this latest release from co-writer and uber-producer extraordinaire Stephen J. Cannel (The A-Team) and T.V. veteran auteur Chuck Bowman (V: The Series) has no direct link to Darkness Falls, nor its main villainess, the concept and character for their production are dangerously familiar.
This latest flick, in an increasingly long list of direct to video wonders from Cannell, including The Garden, It Waits and Demon Hunter, has a bit more going for it than Sony’s slickly shot and soulless trash fest as it tells the obviously tragic tale of Peter Campbell (Lochlyn Munro) who just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of La La Land, open up a nice bed and breakfast and get to work on that novel that’s pent up inside of us all. But, things are never as simple as they seem when you head off to the country to get away from it all – think Arachnophobia or even Hide and Seek. As his grand opening approaches, Peter is joined by his psuedo-girlfriend Darcy (Chandra West) and her precious 12-year-old daughter Pamela (Nicole Muñoz) for some much needed assistance, and it’s about time too, because with two redneck whack jobs out to get back at Peter, and his burnout musician best friend mooching around for some cash, things are not looking very promising for Peter’s sanity.
Pretty soon after arriving, Pamela meets a mysterious young girl named Emma who lives next door and tells Pamela that her new home once housed the evil Tooth Fairy, who stole children’s teeth before sending them all to a bloody grave. It turns out that poor Pamela is only moments away from losing her last baby tooth in a bicycle accident, and now the Tooth Fairy is coming for her and everyone she knows.
It would be pretty easy to dismiss this little flick as nothing more than a rehashing of tried and true genre cliché’s, but it might sell the finished product a bit short. The film has an excess of exposition, a nude scene that is the very definition of gratuitous, parents who don’t believe their child, and the ghostly friend who helps our heroine ultimately save the day. So even though it feels like Cannell and Bowman are virtually filling in the blanks in some twisted Mad Libs version of a horror script, does not mean that the cookie cutter cinema isn’t tasty. In fact, I was fairly taken in by the film, due mostly to the engaging performance of Nicole Muñoz. She has a very naturalist way about her acting, which in the Dakota Fanning School of overly intense child actors is somewhat refreshing. In fact even a human cartoon like Lochlyn Munro seems toned down into a real flesh and blood human being in this film – considering the reality that even looking at Munro for longer than 5 seconds makes me want to crack up – shows a fairly acute bit of direction on the part of Bowman, which is hardly a surprise as the man has been working in the industry for the better part of 35 years.
The FX are solid and like all the great gorehounds out there I always appreciate a good “wood chipper” scene. So raise up two big severed thumbs for the splatter spray and pass me a towel. In terms of plot, well you’ll get all that when everyone’s favorite Halloween High Schooler P.J. Soles shows up for her cameo around the 20 minute mark to scare the bejesus outta the whole house with her “She’s coming to get you” speech – sure it’s a cop out, but that’s never stopped Hollywood before (ahem…M. Night Shyamalan). Either way, The Tooth Fairy may not be the best film to come down the pipe over the past few months, but nevertheless its still a pretty entertaining waste of 90 odd minutes of your night.