Anchor Bay // 2006 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 8th, 2006
Put a tooth under your pillow and let the bloodbath begin.
This may not be the first horror movie that's been devoted to the tooth fairy, but it's probably the goriest.
When Peter Campbell (Lochlyn Munro) purchases an out-of-the-way farmhouse to fix up and convert into a bed and breakfast, he has no idea that he's unleashed the malevolent spirit of a child-killing witch. Back in the '50s, this witch used to lure unsuspecting children to her house, offer them bright, shiny toys and bikes in exchange for their teeth, then murder them. The legend tells that the teeth she collected represented the souls of the children, and supplied her with her dark power. As for the slain kids, well, they were forced into an eternity of wandering around as spirits.
Enter Darcy Wagner (Chandra West) and her daughter Pamela (Nicole Munoz), coming to visit husband and dad, Peter. As soon as the two arrive, weirdness goes down and Pamela is visited by strange kids who -- wait, just a second -- look like they came from the '50s. From them, Pamela learns that to defeat the Tooth Fairy, an enterprising hero or heroine must steal the witch's magic music box and set it on fire twice.
It takes some convincing to bring the adults on board, but when guests of the bed and breakfast begin turning up slaughtered in horrific ways, they being to change their tunes. So now, in one terrifying night, the Campbell family will have to take out the Tooth Fairy -- before she gets her slimy hands on Pamela.
From uber-TV producer Stephen Cannell, comes this tidy little horror movie that refuses to skimp on the hard stuff. The Tooth Fairy is violent and gory and while the story and acting are little to flip for, this gruesome R-earning chaos makes up for it. Kids, The Tooth Fairy is hardcore, starting with the (off-camera) slaying of a kid, moving on to a violent, juicy death-by-wood-chipper, a forced castration and close-up of the severed junk, more axe killings, a beheading and some burning-to-death.
While all that sounds pretty attractive to the gorehound, there's one kill scene that is truly above and beyond crazy. SPOILER WARNING! I hate to ruin any surprises, but this is just too tasty. Here's how the scene plays out: a benevolent Wiccan is desperately trying to put together a spell to ward off the evil of the Tooth Fairy, but, unfortunately for her, the Fairy isn't repelled, and she sneaks into the room, nails the nice New Age girl to the wall with a nail-gun and proceeds to hack off her limbs and intestines with a hatchet, all filmed up close and unflinchingly. END SPOILER.
The Tooth Fairy is one of the gorier movies I've seen in some time. And it's not tongue-in-cheek Troma gore either. The movie presents itself as a straight-on, hard-edged horror flick, making the deaths that much more sinister (save maybe for the dude who gets his junk hacked off). Director Chuck Bowman, who worked extensively in television, has brought a welcome "show it all and let the blood fly" sensibility to the project, bolstered by a script from Cannell, who proves himself to be a pretty sick @#$%.
The story is derivative and the acting never gets past "serviceable" (actually, the little girl Nicole Munoz runs circles around her grown-up costars). No, it's not the inventiveness of the plot that deserves note but the over-the-top hacking and slashing. The pacing lags a bit, and we don't get our first all-out slaughter until the half-hour point but it's the wood-chipper and it's a doozy. Then on, the stakes are raised and killing comes quicker. These people deserve their fate, too, making some of the most retarded decisions people can make, even if they are in a horror movie; me, I would have hauled ass out of that town as soon as I saw the pile of guts and sinew pooled near the wood-chipper output. As an added bonus, you get some last minute nudity that just screams "Holy Crap! We're 70 minutes into this thing and no one's taken their top off yet!"
A tight disc presentation from Anchor Bay, with a smart-looking 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and an aggressive 5.1 surround. Two solid extras, and one lame one: the commentary with Cannell, Bowman and actor Jesse Hutch and the making-of documentary are respectable, but the "Tales of the Tooth Fairy" bit, where the cast and crew talk about Tooth Fairy stories, is lame.
The Tooth Fairy as a movie isn't that great, but as gore-heavy horror flick, there is some value to be had here. No eerie Japanese girl jump scenes here: just bleeding.
The ruling can't be read. It's covered in blood and the ink is smudged. Case dismissed.
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Filmmakers' Commentary
* "Hatchet Job: The Making of The Tooth Fairy"
* Tooth Fairy Featurette