This story definitely puts a grim twist on the legend of the tooth fairy, as Matilda Dixon is, initially, a positive influence in her hometown, but after a fire that disfigures her and causes extreme sensitivity to light, the townsfolk turn on her without question. Having to wear a porcelain mask and being able to only come out at night when the sun is down would be horrible indeed, but thinking that an entire town would suddenly think of a kindly old woman that suffered a tragedy had suddenly become a witch is kind if stretching things a bit. For the asked of expedience and building up the beginning of the movie however it’s understood why such a thing would be done. When two children go missing in the town, Matilda, who’s already under suspicion, is blamed immediately since of course, a mysterious and reclusive individual would be shady without a doubt. But after Matilda is hanged, leaving behind a convenient curse first, the kids are found and the townsfolk have to endure a bit ‘uh oh’ moment. Burying Matilda and the secret is definitely easier than admitting they were wrong and lamenting their poor deduction skills, which means the folks of Darkness Falls fall right into the category of being a moronic, angry mob comprised of those that don’t think for themselves.
In other words, this movie hits the various tropes that are set for it in kind of a clunking, bumbling manner since it’s fairly easy to lay the story out and guess what’s going to happen, making it very predictable but also comfortable since there aren’t any huge surprises waiting in the wings unless one isn’t really that much of a horror movie aficionado. All the same, however, the story is pretty cool since the truth is that a lot of towns probably hold a fair number of secrets that they don’t want coming out either because said secrets are embarrassing or are so horrible that people quickly realize that they might impact the town in a negative manner. Some might ask what could possibly come from revealing secrets that no one living had anything to do with, but the truth is that while nothing could happen to the residents, the reputation of the town might falter just a bit.
But with Darkness Falls, this kind of secret is undeniably deadly since, in the realm of fiction, where dark secrets can have serious ramifications such as harboring a deadly spirit that kills people, it might be necessary to unearth such a secret and do something about it, preferably in the daytime. There are so many ways that people might rip this movie apart since the glaring questions of why anyone would take the issue of missing kids so lightly might come up, or it might happen that some ambitious police officer might dig into the disappearances a little further and figure out the legend of Matilda Dixon. Or perhaps someone could have figured out that the main character, Kyle Walsh, didn’t kill his mother and couldn’t have possibly done so considering his age and the manner in which she was killed. There are a lot of different ways to trip this movie up, but the fun part is simply watching it and realizing that it’s operating completely on the suspension of disbelief, even for a fictional horror movie.
Every now and then however this is the type of horror movie that’s needed, something that doesn’t force a person to think too hard about what’s happening and why. There isn’t a lot of mystery to this movie, the main antagonist is keyed up quickly, the main protagonist is a troubled individual that was subjected to a cruel twist of fate when he was younger, and now there’s a person that needs his help back in his hometown, which has suffered a rash of tragedies that people simply don’t talk about. To be realistic, this is the type of horror movie that a lot of us might have grown up with, where everything is laid out and there aren’t any well-kept secrets from the audience, but despite this fact, the movie is enjoyable enough for B-level horror since it’s humorous as well as terrifying.
Matilda Dixon is one of the many antagonists in horror history that’s absolutely deadly but has a glaring weakness that can be exploited so long as the people she’s after understand how to use it. A person could argue that this is one of the most common weaknesses for an evil spirit to have, an aversion to the light, but seeing how it carried over from life to death it’s kind of interesting, to be honest. But if we’re going to really nitpicky, it’s a far easier weakness to deal with than other movies, where out-bullying the bad guy was the best way to defeat him.