Tuesday, August 30, 2011

REVIEW: The Tooth Fairy (2006)

There are some things you just can’t make scary. No matter how hard you try, they just aren’t intimidating or fearful in any way. The tooth fairy is probably near the top of the list along with toenail clippings, old newspapers and dirty dishrags – except dirty dishrags can become scary with chloroform on them, so that’s probably lower on the list than the tooth fairy.

But people keep trying for some reason – first Darkness Falls and now this. Do they seriously think it’s that good of an idea to the point where we need multiple movies about it? I’ll spoil the surprise and say no, it’s not worth watching. But you’ll read the rest of the review anyway! Muahahaha!

Director: Chuck Bowman
Starring: Lochlyn Munro, Chandra West

The film is directed by Chuck Bowman, who’s directed such classics in the past as Christy: The Movie and Spring Fling!...yeah, I’ve never heard of any of those either. It stars Lochlyn Munro, who was in Freddy VS Jason, so you know you’re getting the best star power you can get with this movie! But it also has Chandra West from White Noise and several Puppet Master sequels! Woah! The stars they brought on board for this movie are just BLOWING ME AWAY!

The film itself starts with happy, bouncy music over cheery 1940s small-town imagery that makes me wonder if I turned on the wrong movie. It looks more like a cheap Hallmark card than the opening of a horror movie. What’s the deal?

Then we see two dumb little kids going to a creepy house where apparently they can get a bike if they go inside and pull out their teeth for a creepy old disfigured lady. Doesn’t that sound like a good deal? But she chops him up with a machete after he does it anyway...raw deal, man; raw deal.

Yeah because that big red bike in the background doesn't at all take away from the seriousness and grimness of this scene...idiots.

In the present day, we see a woman named Darcy and her daughter Pam driving along and stopping at a gas station. It goes well until she meets two country bumpkins who I think were rejected from the last Texas Chainsaw Massacre circus show. They push her around a bit and get especially violent when they find out she’s married to a guy named Peter, and then they try to rape her until she steps on one of their feet.

Best service at a gas station ever?

Meanwhile, we see Peter, who is opening up a new hotel in town, where he works with a guy who seemingly doesn’t own any shirts. They get their first tenant, a hot chick who calls herself STAR, because she has four names that all spell that out. I think this cast of characters in general belongs in some kind of raunchy sex comedy or something, not a horror movie. Maybe they got mixed up with the cast of Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star or something – probably about equal levels of dignity either way, so it’s an easy mistake.

He's kind of like Gru from Angel...if he was a lot less funny and well written.

The daughter, Pam, meets this little girl who wears an old fashioned dress and doesn’t know who Harry Potter is, so of course she’s a ghost, even though the movie tries to play it up like it’s a surprise. And if you’re surprised at that, here’s another zinger for you: trying to put out a fire with gasoline is a bad, bad idea. The ghost-girl gives us a big old info dump about how there was once an old witch lady who lived in the house and killed kids after taking their teeth. Why? You’d find a more worthwhile answer in a Magic 8 Ball. Seriously, there’s no explanation. Does she just like teeth? Does she get off on it?

Anyway, we also learn that she just ‘knows’ somehow when kids lose their teeth (the explanation in Darkness Falls is looking pre-etty good right now, huh?) and comes to kill them when they lose the last one, or something. Pam thinks she’s safe at first, but then in an act of extreme coincidence, she hits her mouth on a rock after the ghost-girl leaves and loses her very last baby tooth. Aw snap.

The movie just kind of plods along aimlessly without any kind of actual interesting things going on, and I'd rather watch a 6 hour video of nothing but tax accountants filing papers and picking their noses than watch this for even one more scene. The characters seem to enjoy going on long philosophical diatribes that basically mean nothing. Like I love this one scene where Star and that kid who works for Peter have this conversation outside at night about going to college – it’s pretty much like watching two people who were raised without ever being exposed to normal human interaction, like in some kind of scientific experiment, try to converse. The awkwardness is just off the charts!

Oh, and occasionally there are a few scenes of Peter and Darcy beating up the two bumpkins from the beginning of the movie, but even those just feel like padding anyway. Way too much time is spent on this storyline, and since it literally amounts to nothing when they’re randomly killed off without any resolution to their storyline, it’s probably the most overt example of padding I’ve seen in a movie since the first half of Them.

There's also this lady in the picture below, who is an incredibly phoned-in and half-assed attempt at forcing more plot dumps on us, as she apparently knows everything with no explanation or reason for it. She comes by the house to warn the family about the evil stuff happening in the town, deciding quite smartly to dress all in black and sneak around like a house burglar - why? Just so the movie can shoehorn in a jump scare or two. I'm actually starting to miss The Ice Pirates' stupid joke set-ups watching this trash.

This is PJ Soles, who used to be in classic movies like Halloween, Carrie and Stripes. Now she's a minor character in this movie. I'll pause for a moment to let the incredible sense of empathetic shame wash over you in waves.

Things get serious when that guy who works for Peter is attacked in the middle of the night, tied up and put through a wood chipper by the movie’s ‘tooth fairy’ killer. Everyone is heartbroken and deduces masterfully that he must have accidentally fallen in. Next time put a safety label on that damn thing, Peter. You gotta be more careful. Oh, and after that we get some scenes where Darcy and Peter start to reconsider their staying in this town. Yeah, they really have to think hard about whether or not to stay there after Darcy was almost raped by the locals and after Peter's hired help got brutally murdered. It's just such a tough decision!

An every day occurrence.
"Oh, I think we should move back to the city after all these bad things that happened. Like the hillbillies that tried to rape me, the murder in our basement and the crazy old lady next door telling us there are evil things afoot...we're not having a good time."
"No, Darcy, that's a silly idea, I need this place to write stories because...well, because the script says we need to stay here! Hur hur!"

And wait a minute, why is this tooth fairy killer murdering these random people? The movie outright stated that she only went after kids losing their last tooth, and even in the beginning when we saw the prologue, there was no indication she was going on any kind of murdering spree. So what the hell? This movie can’t even get ITS OWN BACKSTORY right! There’s no logic here! It would have been easy to set up some kind of escaped mental patient killing people and taking their teeth just because he’s, you know, crazy, but this half-assed attempt at a supernatural ghost story just falls flat altogether when they can’t even make up their minds on how it works or decide what the story is.

You know what this is? This is a great big case of indecisiveness, like they wanted to go halfway with one idea but then got another one they liked just as much, only both ideas were about as good as handing deadly assault weapons to people with questionable morals and chips on their shoulders during wartime. Either way, we all lose.

We get introduced to some other moron with a beard who is apparently old friends with Peter. He serves basically no purpose in the story except…no, he literally serves zero purpose! His longest scenes in this movie are the ones in which he has an overlong, pointless “philosophical” conversation with Star, and following that, they sleep together before his head gets cut off by the tooth fairy. That’s it. He contributes nothing else. WHY WAS HE EVEN IN THIS MOVIE? Maybe he caught Chuck Bowman doing some embarrassing sexual act with a monkey, or something, and tried to blackmail him. It wasn’t worth it, man! It wasn’t worth it!

So yeah, are you ready for the mindblowing finale? They find out that the tooth fairy killer will be destroyed if all the souls she’s captured get their teeth back from her. Yeah, that plot thread that sounds like it came from some horror parody movie? It’s being played completely serious in this. Through a “climactic” – hah hah – finale involving the tooth fairy killer being set on fire two times and eventually being killed rather lamely in broad daylight, the movie finally, mercifully, ends. PHEW.

Insert caption about how stupid and unscary this is here; I'm too lazy right now.

I rarely come across films that are literally worthless in every possible way including for reviewing – most of them at least inspire some discussion about the various technical aspects the makers got wrong. Not here! There’s nothing about this movie worth talking about at all. It’s worse than nothing – a sub-level of horrendousness previously undiscovered by film. This kind of tin-can-budget sewer slime doesn’t even deserve one second of your time. I have greatly overexaggerated its worth even by typing out this 1500 word review.