HTF REVIEW: The Tooth Fairy

Michael Osadciw

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
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1,395
Real Name
Michael Osadciw


THE TOOTH FAIRY


Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Film Year: 2006
Film Length: 89 minutes
Genre: Horror

Aspect Ratio:

1.78:1

Colour/B&W: Colour

Audio:
English 5.1 Surround

English 2.0 Surround

Subtitles: none
Film Rating: not rated








Release Date: August 08, 2006.


Rating:
/


Scare Factor:
/


Chandra West (Darcy Wager), Lochlyn Monro (Peter Campbell), Carrie Fleming (Star Roberts), Nicole Muñoz (Pamela Wagner), Steve Bacic (Cole), P.J. Soles (Mrs. MacDonald), Jesse Hutch (Bobby Boulet)

Teleplay by: Stephen J. Cannell, Corey Strode, Cookie Rae Brown
Directed by: Chuck Bowman



Years ago in a small town in California, there was a wretched old woman who would lure children into her home for their loose teeth. She’d tell them she’d give them a gift of some sort, something of amazement to children. After she got a hold of their tooth, she’d butcher their bodies and no one in the town knew where their children disappeared to. This witch cursed their souls to wander the earth in limbo for as long as she had their teeth.

That is the history. That is the past. But for one unlucky group of people it is about to the present.

The old house where they wicked lady lived has been long abandoned and now sold to a young entrepreneur who fixes it up and turns it into “Campbell’s Inn” bed and breakfast. He invites his past girlfriend Darcy and her daughter Pamela to stay for a while as he finishes every last touch.

But Pamela soon finds out that something is wrong here – her loose tooth is falling out and she is warned by a mysterious little girl not to give up her tooth to the Tooth Fairy. She is told the Tooth Fairy always knows where the tooth is, and she’ll Pamela for it. The three of them plus three visitors are soon subjected to the grisly murderous rampage of this witch of the past as she pursues the tooth.

Axe-wielding and nail gun biting horror will pin you against your seat, if you can successfully not laugh at some of its orchestration. It’s a mixture of good and bad straight-to-video low budget horror. The awful lightning effects killed it for me.

It’s not a kid’s movie because of the nudity and gore, yet, some of the dialogue between the children almost makes it like an episode of Goosebumps. This uncut never-before-scene version is intended only for adults (isn’t this the first time it’s ever been released?)


VIDEO QUALITY
/


This is a good transfer for Anchor Bay. There is great colour in this picture: the trees and grass are bright green and show a lot of detail in it, and Star’s red lipstick is a bright kissable red, and her flesh tones – on all parts of her body – look perfect!

The image also has great contrast; the outdoor scenes are bright, detailed, and are delivered without noticeable objections. The dark parts of the picture are deep, except for the day-for-night shooting segments that look a bit artificial. The picture quality indoors is equally impressive be it a conversation over candlelight or someone getting their head bashed in.

I’m assuming this title was shot on film since grain is occasionally noticed. The print isn’t entirely clean since specs of dirt can also be seen. The aspect ratio is 1.78:1 and is enhanced for widescreen televisions.


AUDIO QUALITY
/


Hmmm…the bad acting in this film makes the bad dubbing even worse. The dialogue noticeably ADR and at times words don’t even match to the lips. But it’s not obvious just because of that; the dialogue is so poorly integrated with the rest of the sounds it’s terrible! To make matters worse, the tonality of the voice changes between lines of an actor making it sound like some of the dialogue was taken on the set and the rest was done in a sound room. In the end, a lot of it sounds like it was recorded in a tin can with quick echo. I won’t say the dialogue is bright sounding, but the “ts” sound is accentuated quite a bit without being screechy.

There is very little effort to widen the soundstage beyond the center channel too. What were the sound designers thinking? They are using a 5.1 platform and yet for no apparently reason they choose to put most of the sound effects ALL in the center channel – even most off-screen effects! Ridiculous! The only time the left and right channels, (both front and surround) are used is in the thunderstorms…the thunder rattles around in all channels. It’s not even a good, deep, disturbing thunder…its sounds like sheet metal wobbling. Music is also spread in the left and right channels and the score is effective for the scary moments. It is subtly present in the surround channels making the attempt for a wider sound spread ineffective.

Peak volume levels in the recording exhibit strain as a bit of distortion can be present. Also, hiss can be heard behind a lot of actress Chandra West’s dialogue. LFE is non-existent except for a brief moment at the film’s climax.

TACTILE FUN!!
/

TRANSDUCER ON
/OFF?: OFF

Don’t waste your time with a tactile transducer for this film. It isn’t bass heavy in any of the channels let alone the LFE.


SPECIAL FEATURES
/


The disc includes a very good Loose Tooth: Audio Commentary with director Chuck Bowman, producer/writer Stephen J. Cannell and actor Jesse Hutch. The three of them are spread across the front soundstage so it seems like they have their place in your room (too bad the film’s soundtrack didn’t have the same directionality!) These guys really enjoy talking about the making of this film and as a viewer who found the movie o.k., I really enjoyed this commentary. It’s worth a browse.

Hatchet Job: The Making of The Tooth Fairy (10m45s, 16x9) features cast and crew interviews with Cannell, Bowman, the young actresses, special effects, make-up artists, and a bunch of behind the scene footage. It’s to-the-point for an 11-minute piece.

Lastly is a two and a half minute featurette titled Tales of the Tooth Fairy. The actors in this film talk about their belief in the tooth fairy and the memories they had of it when they were young. It’s also a widescreen-enhanced featurette, although the audio is messed up a bit sometimes coming only from the left or right channel.

The trailer is also included with other DVD titles: the Masters of Horror Collection, Room 6, Demon Hunter, It Waits, and The Garden.


IN THE END...

The Tooth Fairy is a mediocre film by Stephen J. Cannell Productions. Possibly with a few more tries Cannell will make a great horror film because the ideas are there, but the final execution is a little messy. I don’t think The Tooth Fairy is worth avoiding, but I will recommend it as a rental just because it’s so weird.

Mike Osadciw
September 13, 2006.
 

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