While not perfect, the right amount of humor, along with solid creative execution and visual style, makes “Tooth Fairy” a worthwhile watch.
As children, Jen worked with her friends and mother to contain an evil shape-shifting entity called the Toof. Although, it was not without consequence, and ended with her mother sacrificing her own life in the process. 30 years later, the original events have been forgotten in the eyes of many. But for Jen, the memory still remains.
When the Toof is resurrected seeking vengeance on those that previously vanquished it, Jen must now find a way to work with her estranged family to stop the Toof once again. Because this tooth fairy is anything but sweet. And with teeth to be collected, no one is safe.
Tooth Fairy is the latest horror film from director Louisa Warren, who is no stranger to the horror genre having worked both in front and behind the camera. Her latest offering, however, has a surprisingly different feel to what some viewer may expect — delivering a twisted tongue-in-cheek (and tooth) horror comedy with a bloody execution.
The Tooth Fairy, or Toof as referred to in the film, is an evil entity who has a macabre desire to remove the teeth from its victims.
Preferably, the tooth are removed while the victim is still alive — and in the most painful way possible. As a horror character, I liked the concept of Toof. It’s a much darker interpretation of the sugar-coated tooth fairy we have come to know, and there is no recompense for the lost teeth taken prematurely. The whole experience leaves you somewhat short-changed.
The makeup for the original appearance of Toof works well. Although the character is more effectively used when undertaking the appearance of someone else. Depicting an identical likeness of the person they wanted to see, there are a few subtle changes to the persona to make them appear more malevolent in tone. This is further emphasized with the cold lighting and makeup, which helps to create an ominous atmosphere to the scene.
The film does well to build up the suspense — including some imaginative kills.
However, some of the more memorable moments occur when the film incorporates a more comedic tone. Despite being trapped for 30 years, when it comes to removing teeth, Toof is extremely well equipped. Of course, there’s the well-used medieval style dentistry kit, including the essential tooth pliers and a hammer. But as part of a modern regime, dental floss and a toothbrush are some of the contemporary oral hygiene items which are used to kill more than just stubborn plaque.
When it comes to taking on a mythical entity such as Toof, it has never been easier thanks to the internet. In this case, they stumble upon a video from online vlogger Ben Chambers (played by actor and real-life vlogger Shawn C. Phillips) who gives some background insight into the origins of the infamous Toof legend. Not too surprisingly, when the only known weakness is revealed, it happens to be sugar.
With an Achilles’ heel of sugar, it is not surprising that the film tries not to take itself too seriously.
And the humor element is where the film really succeeds. A montage scene in which they arm themselves with bags of sweets and water pistols filled with fizzy drinks is one of the film’s amusing concepts. It looks more like they are getting ready to take on a kid’s party rather than an evil entity. Although, it does remind me of From Dusk till Dawn (1996) where the weapons include a water pistol and condoms filled with holy water.
On a side note, the idea of a Toof-themed kids party would be great, although it may not go down too well with the parents — especially if you decide to go the extra mile and include a tooth to take home in a goody bag.
I was impressed with the overall style and look of the film.
Visually, this is the strongest film I have seen from director Louisa Warren, with so many elements of the film coming together surprisingly well. The offset camera angles and neon style lighting create an intense feel to the film and an almost dreamlike look when the entity is taking control.
One of the most impressive scenes involves Matt (James Ashton), who is suddenly visited from his deceased wife, Mora (Lucia Edwards). Meanhwhile, his daughter upstairs receives an unexpected visit from the Nun (Nicola Lean). It is a simple execution which leads to a rather brutal conclusion. And although we do not see everything in detail, you do get a clear indication of the events with the suggestive nature of the scene.
It is the overall atmosphere of the scene which makes it work so well.
I loved the slick, choreographed movement with the camera and the excellent score, which gradually builds up the intensity. The performances in the scene are extremely tense, with James delivering an emotional display. Lucia and Nicola both have a more distant and cold delivery, which makes it quite haunting.
Claire-Maria Fox is no stranger to the horror genre, and she does a good job once again delivering an emotional performance as Carla.
Another standout is Claudine-Helene Aumord, who delivers a stern, speak-before-you-think attitude. Their stubbornness in attitudes causes them both to consistently clash, which makes any attempts of reconciliation so difficult, despite the good intentions from both sides.
The most well-rounded character in the film was Manny Jai Montana as Joe. He is not only the most likable character, but when it comes to battling an evil entity, he seems well suited —even if he is armed with a water pistol filled with a fizzy sugary drink.
The film is a lot of fun.
It does feel let down at times due to a few confusing plot holes, and it takes a while to get going. I do like what they were trying to do with the development of the characters, but there was too much unnecessary drama thrown in into the mix. Thus, the film struggled a bit with pacing.
Tooth Fairy is an entertaining low budget horror film that does a lot of things right, especially with regards to humor and execution. It may be slow at times, but it is worth sticking with it. Because once the action starts, there are plenty of creative kills to keep you entertained.