Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Darkness Falls

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

After surviving Darkness Falls, I’m figuring that its three screenwriters must have used some computer program that should be called the Hollywood Cliché Generator 2000. They selected “Horror” from the menu and just filled in the blanks when prompted.

“Monster?” the monitor prompted. “The Tooth Fairy,” they typed. “Attributes?” the program returned, providing a pull-down list of monster types. It seems they selected Freddy Krueger from Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street series and then selected “Character Twist” to cross-dress him in Wicked Witch of the West drag.

“Plot?” Why not go with Craven’s Nightmare? They typed in “Nightmare on Elm Street,” only to hear the computer’s warning tone as a dialogue box appeared on the screen: “The plot was recently used in They. You may wish to modify or select another.” It seems even the Hollywood Cliché Generator 2000 has its limits. “Select another,” they typed in. Then the cheesy bastards chose the plot from They and double-clicked on the “generate” button.

After a pause and much clicking of the computer’s hard disk, the Cliché Generator laid out the plot: A woman gives coins to children for their teeth and becomes known as the Tooth Fairy. When two children go missing and are presumed dead, the town rallies into a mob and lynches the Tooth Fairy, hanging and burning her. Plot twist: She wasn’t guilty; the children somehow show up safe and sound the next day. The Tooth Fairy becomes a vengeful spirit visiting her wrath upon children at the loss of their last baby tooth. Like most supernatural slashers since Halloween’s Michael Myers, the Tooth Fairy wears a mask, because even as an evil wraith, her burned face is sensitive to light (???). So armed only with light (kryptonite to the Tooth Fairy), our requisite hunky hero, Kyle Walsh (Chaney Kley), must save his first love and her brother and the entire town of Darkness Falls from the flying, transgendered Freddy.

Darkness Falls is dim-witted, only offers a few shocks – and is the number-one box office grosser of the weekend. Maybe Hollywood and the rest of America need to take Kyle’s oft-repeated advice: “Walk into the light! Walk into the light!”

James Keith La Croix writes about film for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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