THE TOOTH FAIRY
Directed by Chuck Bowman
Produced by Stephen J. Cannell, Michael J. Dubelko
Written by Stephen J. Cannell and Cory Strode & Cookie Rae Brown
Director of Photograpy Dave Pelletier
Music by Richard John Baker
Cast: Lochlyn Munro, Chandra West, Nicole Munoz, Carrie Fleming, Jesse Hutch
2006/89 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
1.78:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD
Several years ago, screenwriters Daniel Farrands and Carolyn Davis sued the makers of DARKNESS FALLS, claiming that the film had plagiarized their script entitled “The Tooth Fairy”. I didn’t think that DARKNESS FALLS was a very good movie, but writers should always get the credit that they deserve. To be honest, I’m not sure what the outcome of the lawsuit was, but Farrands and Davis can presumably now feel justified as they have story credit on the newly released movie THE TOOTH FAIRY. The bad news is that THE TOOTH FAIRY isn’t a very good movie either...and it’s actually worse than DARKNESS FALLS.
THE TOOTH FAIRY opens with a prologue set in 1949 where we learn about a small-town woman who collects the last baby-tooth that local children lose. She promises the kids a present in exchange for that final baby-tooth. But instead, she brutally kills them. The action then jumps to present day. Peter Campbell (Lochlyn Munro), along with help from day-laborer Bobby (Jesse Hutch), has opened a bed & breakfast in the former home of the murderous tooth collector. As the opening date for the inn approaches, Peter welcomes his former-girlfriend, Darcy (Chandra West) and her daughter, Pamela (Nicole Munoz), for a visit. He also receives his first tenant, Star (Carrie Fleming), a former stripper who's about to begin veterinary school.
As Pamela plays near the house, she meets another young girl named Emma (Jianna Ballard). Emma warns Pamela about the witch who used to live in the house and how she collects baby-teeth. Immediately after hearing this story, Pamela wrecks her bike and her last baby-tooth is knocked out. This awakens the “Tooth Fairy” who begins to wreak havoc in and around the bed & breakfast. While the adults are trying to survive, only Pamela, with Emma’s help, knows how to defeat the monster.
THE TOOTH FAIRY is one of the most confused and misguided films that I’ve seen in quite a while. The movie reminded me of something that would have come from Roger Corman in the 1960s, where two different scripts were shot and then edited together. I would love to say that the movie has an intriguing idea, but the legend behind the “Tooth Fairy”/witch(?) is quite confusing and muddled. She takes kid’s last baby-tooth and kills them...why? I never really got the gist of this. The “Tooth Fairy” also had some sort of skin disease which made her avoid others. Is that why she kills? And when she re-appears, is she a ghost? Has she been in the house all along? And, lawsuit and credit arguments aside, a similar idea had already been used to slightly better success in DARKNESS FALLS.
As if the “Tooth Fairy”’s back-story isn’t confusing enough, her actions are even more confounding. According to the legend, the “Tooth Fairy” kills children after they lose their last baby-tooth (and she also takes their souls or something). So, how come she sets about killing everyone but Pamela?!?! Perhaps the filmmakers weren’t comfortable making a movie where a little girl is in jeopardy the whole time, but the result is a movie that doesn’t make any sense. And I was disappointed by the fact that this witch (?) has to use an ax.
The movie is further hampered by subplots which take away from the main story. Peter is hassled by two local goons who claim that he stole the house from them. So there are three scenes where Peter and/or Darcy must fight off these creeps. Then, there’s P.J. Soles as the creepy neighbor. Her scenes really serve no purpose and the delivery of her few lines is very, very odd. The coup de grace occurs when THE TOOTH FAIRY features the most unrealistic “Hey! Let’s put a sex scene here!” moment that I’ve ever seen in a movie. None of these attributes have anything at all to do with the “Tooth Fairy” plot, resulting in a movie which is only about 30% horror-based.
THE TOOTH FAIRY does feature a few gory killings, but they may as well have been taking place in another movie. This total disaster of a movie makes me feel somewhat sorry for those involved. Farrands (who had previously written HALLOWEEN 6) & Davis finally get their names on a movie and it’s a stinker. Lochlyn Munro is an actor whom I’ve always liked in comedic roles and he’s completely wasted here. If THE TOOTH FAIRY DVD somehow finds its way into your house, put it under your pillow. Maybe someone will give you a quarter for it.
THE TOOTH FAIRY is yanked onto DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. THE TOOTH FAIRY is the latest entry from IDT Entertainment’s partnership with producer Stephen J. Cannell and their previous releases have looked quite good. But, the transfer on THE TOOTH FAIRY has some minor problems. While the image is sharp and clear, defects from the source material, mostly white spots, are noticeable on the image. Also, there was some visible video noise at times. Otherwise, the colors look good and the picture is stable. The DVD features a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. The track delivers clear dialogue, but it’s quite lackluster. The stereo effects are OK, but the surround and subwoofer effects arrive only during the “scare” sequences and even then, they aren’t very muscular.
THE TOOTH FAIRY DVD has some extra features. Director Chuck Bowman, producer Stephen J. Cannell, and actor Jesse Hutch provide an AUDIO COMMENTARY. This is a pretty good talk, as the three joke around while talking about the film’s production. While they never touch on the quality of the film, they do talk about the budget limitations and how the most was made of the Canadian locations. “Hatchet Job: The Making of THE TOOTH FAIRY” (11 minutes) is a standard making-of featurette, offering behind-the-scenes footage and comments from the cast and crew. There is no mention of the lawsuit or where the story came from. The cast & crew also talk about their own childhood experiences with the Tooth Fairy in “Tales of the Tooth Fairy” (2 minutes).
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©
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