Starring Carrie Fleming, Chandra West, Jianna Ballard, Jesse Hutch, Peng Zhang Li, Lochlyn Munro, and P.J. Soles
Directed by Chuck Bowman
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
There are many things from our childhood that could have been perceived as scary. Except maybe The Easter Bunny. Not even Night of the Lepus could make those hopping critters seem ferocious. Of course now that I have mentioned it, next year at this time a film starring an evil bunny with a basket full of human heads will no doubt be terrorizing small towns by utilizing some Monty Python and the Holy Grail type shenanigans. That being said, our focus here today lies with the mythical figure of The Tooth Fairy. I don’t think I have to explain the whole leave a tooth under your pillow for some cash thing, so instead let’s head right into the film.
During the Forties a woman thought to be a witch due in part to her disfiguring skin disease would lure children to her home by promising them gifts in exchange for their baby teeth. Once she had the teeth, she’d kill them and place their newly extracted riches into a tiny box, thereby trapping their souls between Heaven and Hell. Why does she do this? How does this work? Who knows. As an audience we’re pretty much expected to just go with it.
The witch’s luck runs out after twelve murders. Not sure how, why, or what happened here. I am assuming she’s arrested and put to death. Again, it’s never really explained. Either way, fast forward to the present. Her home is now being converted into a bed and breakfast. After all, what better site for such a thing than a building in which innocent children were slaughtered by an old hag with a penchant for molars? Suffice it to say the new owners of this establishment have a daughter with a loose tooth, and once she’s introduced, the spooky fun begins.
After a couple of misfires like The Garden and Room 6, Anchor Bay finds themselves back on the right track with The Tooth Fairy. Still suffering from the bad taste left in my mouth after Darkness Falls, this go-around does a lot to erase the painful incarnation of that character from my memory. How, you ask? I’ll tell ya! Gallons of blood! YAY! Gone is the PG-13 episode of Goosebumps, and in its place we have a Tooth Fairy that is vicious, evil, not afraid to use power tools, and of course hideous looking. Honestly, I was a bit surprised by the level of violence. Each death is as squishy as could be and gushing with the red stuff. Nothing gets to the point where it could be considered over-the-top, but it should satisfy gorehounds nonetheless.
The characters are fleshed out pretty well and, dare I say it, are at times quite likable. Everyone’s back story is gone into in detail so you really get a feel for them, except of course for the lead character, The Tooth Fairy. Maybe the film’s makers wanted to keep her shrouded in a bit of mystery. Either way, the movie works. You have a big bad that’s truly evil and characters that you may actually give a bit of a damn whether they live or die.
All in all there’s not much to complain about, but there surely are a few things. The score for one. It feels incomplete. Music cues seemed to be missing, and that led to a couple of scenes losing much of their impact. I’m not saying we need stinger after stinger, but something would have been nice. Then there are the plot holes. Things happen in The Tooth Fairy that are nothing short of illogical. You’ll find yourself saying “Oh, come on” more than a few times. What we have here is basically a fairy tale for bloodthirsty adults. Things don’t always make sense. Should you put your brain on auto-pilot, you’ll have some fun.
On the extras side of things the package is a bit light. Other than a semi-entertaining commentary, you have a standard ten-minute making-of and a two-minute featurette about the stars’ real life childhood memories of The Tooth Fairy. There is one thing I would like to applaud though, and that’s director Chuck Bowman. Just like producer Stephen J. Cannell, he’s a veteran of the small screen that has never had much to do with our beloved genre. All he knew is that he wanted to make a horror movie, and that’s what he set out to do. Not a psychological thriller, not a suspense film with supernatural overtones (whatever that means), just a good old fashioned HORROR MOVIE. During the making-of featurette it really warmed my heart to hear him say that. Bravo Chuck! I hope you make another!
The Tooth Fairy is the type of flick that you can put on during a rainy afternoon and have a blast with. It’s by no means an important visceral film that will exercise your mind. It doesn’t try to be. No one’s trying to reinvent the wheel here, just keep it rolling. And it rolls down a pretty blood-splattered path.
Audio commentary with Chuck Bowman, Stephen J. Cannell, and Jesse Hutch
Hatchet Job: The Making of The Tooth Fairy featurette
Memories of The Tooth Fairy featurette
3 out of 5