"We stay in the light, we stay alive" - Kyle
It seems such an incongruous, harmless subject.
Possibly the least threatening character from all our collective childhoods
I mean, really – what can possibly be less scary than the Tooth Fairy?
How could you possibly even MAKE the Tooth Fairy scary?
Well, strange as it sounds – they did it. In Darkness Falls. (Okay let’s get the obvious question out there. Who on Earth would want to live in a town called Darkness Falls out of the way?)
Obviously, the town has a dark history. It wouldn’t be a horror film if it didn’t, and obviously whatever they’re hiding isn’t about to stay dead – or even stationary.
Legend has it that an elderly widow named Matilda Dixon, beloved by the children of Darkness Falls, gave them gifts when they lost a tooth. This earned her the nickname of The Tooth Fairy. Unfortunately, there was a fire in Matilda’s home that disfigured her badly and made her skin sensitive to sunlight, so she would only go out at night, wearing a porcelain mask.
This made the townsfolk suspicious of her, despite her gentle nature. So when two of the children suddenly went missing, as ever the peasants blame the outsider. Matilda was lynched and hanged, dying in pain and humiliation as they tore off her mask and exposed her face to the sunlight.
With her dying breath, she cursed the townspeople. Soon after, the missing children came home unharmed, and in guilt, the townspeople buried Matilda and their shame.
The curse is that when a child loses their last baby tooth, Matilda will visit them. If she’s seen by the child, then they will be subject to her vengeance, assuming they survive seeing her in the first place.
So, basically, it’s kind of a ghost story, with a few Nightmare on Elm Street elements also thrown in. Kids are scared to go to sleep because of night terrors, but that lays them open to the threat of seeing Matilda and being killed.
The film opens with Kyle Walsh, a boy in his young teens, on the night he loses that tooth, visited by Matilda who when only glimpsed in shadow for a couple of frames is really un-nerving. He escapes his bedroom, seeking his mother’s help, but SHE sees Matilda and is killed. Kyle survives the night, but now can’t sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, and is assumed guilty of matricide and put in a mental institution for years.
In the present day, Caitlin Greene, who was Kyle’s secret crush, has a kid brother who can’t sleep because of recurring nightmares and asks the newly released Kyle for his help, seeing a parallel between her condition and her brother’s.
Kyle sees some pictures drawn by the brother, and realises that he’s had an encounter with Matilda. It’s time to put this nightmare to rest once and for all.
I’m not going to post any further spoilers, because this really IS an un-nerving and tense film, well made and well played and I’d recommend it to be watched with the lights off, and let’s just see if you can keep them off for the whole running time.
Matilda, thankfully wasn’t subject to endless sequels the way Freddy Krueger was, and so has retained the shadowy scariness, undiminished by over familiarity and a line of wisecracks.
Check it out.
I dare you!
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