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Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls Movie Poster

Columbia Pictures, DVD, 2003, Rated PG-13, 1 hr. 26 min.

Over 150 years ago in the town of Darkness Falls, a kind old woman named Matilda Dixon exchanged teeth from the town kiddies for coins and became known as the Tooth Fairy.  Sadly, fire rips through her home, badly scaring her face and leaving her sensitive to light.  She can only go out at night and wears a porcelain mask to hide her hideous disfigurement.  One night, two children go missing and the town blames Matilda.  She is hanged and her scarred face is exposed to light.  With her dying breath she places a curse upon Darkness Falls.  The next day, the children show up unharmed.  Matilda was wrongly accused and paid a dear price.  The town buried Matilda and its secret, shameful deed.  But since then, some believe that Matilda visits children on the night they lose their last tooth, extracting vengeance for her wrongful death on those who look upon her face.

 On the night Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley) looses his tooth, Matilda comes for him.  Only Kyle's mother is killed instead and Kyle is blamed for her death.  He bounces out of foster homes and insane asylums for the next 12 years, never straying from the light.  You see, once you have seen Matilda's face, she will hunt you until she gets you.  

Flash forward 12 years: Caitlin Green (Emma Caulfield), who was Kyle's childhood sweetheart, has a brother Michael (Lee Cormie), who has just lost his last tooth and is in the hospital because he will not sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time and refuses to be in the dark, fearful of Matilda.  The doctors think Michael is suffering from night terrors, the same diagnosis they gave Kyle.  Caitlin, who has not spoken to Kyle since he was removed from Darkness Falls, calls Kyle to see if he can offer any help. Kyle runs to his lost-love's rescue to battle Matilda and save Michael.

This movie moves along at a slow pace, but is good for a few scares.  But to truly enjoy it, you have to overlook the plot holes (Where are the parents of Michael and Caitlin? Shouldn't ALL the children be dead since Matilda is not quiet about her approach?).  Plus, it is pretty predictable.  Matilda only kills in the dark and the whole town loses power in a power outage.  Shocking! 

Caulfield, who I love on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, manages to shine through all the screaming she does in this movie.  She is a captivating screen presence and was one of the reasons the movie was watchable.

Kley, by comparison was bland.  The character he plays is not the most enthralling in the first place, and he isn't as captivating to watch as Caulfield.  Bland.  That's a good word for the movie.  Not unpalatable, just bland.

The Tooth Fairy?
The Tooth Fairy?

Michael and Kyle (Cormie and Kley)
 Michael and Kyle (Cormie, Kley)

Michael, Kyle, and Caitlin (Cormie, Kley, Caulfield)
 Michael, Kyle, and Caitlin (Cormie, Kley, Caulfield)

Michael and Caitlin (Cormie, Caulfield)
Michael and Caitlin (Cormie, Caulfield)

Matilda gets Michael
Matilda gets Michael


Flying Matilda
Flying Matilda

I like the sound effects that play when Matilda approaches a victim.  It is a cross between nails on a chalkboard and moaning and sent a chill up my spine.  The design of Matilda is well done as well.  Simple, yet eerie, with flowing robes and a porcelain expressionless mask.

Emily Browning, who plays the little girl in Ghost Ship, has a few minutes of screen time in this movie as a young Caitlin.  She brings toughness and vulnerability to her short screen time and can convey a lot of emotion with just a look.  


The DVD special features include:

  • Filmmakers commentaries
  • The Legend of Matilda Dixon
  • The Making of Darkness Falls
  • Deleted scenes
  • Storyboard comparisons

Do you think we got this movie totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this movie in our forums!




Columbia Pictures






86 Minutes







Actor / Actress


Chaney Kley         

Kyle Walsh

Emma Caulfield

Caitlin Green

Lee Cormie 

Michael Green

Grant Piro 


Sullivan Stapleton 


Steven Mouzakis 

Dr. Murphy

Peter Curtin

Dr. Travis

Kestie Morassi

Nurse Lauren



Jonathan Liebesman     


John Hegeman


John Fasano


William Sherak 


Jason Shuman



Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 5/07/2003


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