One doesn’t realize how awful something like Darkness Falls truly is until one stumbles across it on cable television, where its thousand hues of black descend into a murky stew. As directed by Jonathan Liebesman, it’s a reductive of tale of the vengeful spirit of the tooth fairy… OK, fine. Naturally, this means all sorts of jolting musical cues from composer Brian Tyler, and a little kid in peril.
What I didn’t anticipate was just how wholly uninvolving the fright sequences would be, not the least of which because I could scarcely make out a damn thing in the jumbled mass of dark images. In a move that doesn’t bode well for the forthcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel, Liebesman piles grey on black on grey, using cross-cutting shadows that damage both spatial relationships and simple visual clarity. There’s no depth to the darkness. And while the color on my TV is balanced fairly well, what I watched of Darkness Falls had me squinting unsuccessfully to make heads or tails of its ghostly antagonist. It’s proof that while even good movies can be butchered on the small screen, already bad movies become far, far worse.