Running Time: 85 mins
With so many scary movies these days and a tradition of slasher teen movies, it is an eerie pleasure to watch Darkness Falls. The logic of the plot is not strong - but that doesn't matter. It is the atmosphere, jumps and screams and a spookie malevolent ghost which are the main attractions.
South African director, Jonathan Liebesman, made his American horror story in Australia on a small budget, but it looks very stylish indeed, boasts a frightening creature created by Stan Winston and is edited to maximise frights for the audience.
We have heard about the benign tooth fairy. In this legend, a kindly old lady, Matilda Dixon, who lived 150 years ago, gave children coins when they lost their teeth. Unfortunately, she was disfigured in a fire, wore a mask and incurred the suspicions of the townspeople who finally accused her of killing two children and hanged her. Now she is back, not only in nightmares, but flying through the darkness to destroy all those who see her - and she does quite a thorough job! But, of course, she has to meet her match: a young man who was tormented by her as a boy, his girlfriend and her brother who is suffering the same fears of the dark. Only 85 minutes, playing it straight rather than as a send-up, it has more scares than most scary movies.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is the International President of SIGNIS: the World Association for Catholic Communicators and an Associate of the Australian Catholic Film Office.