Author Nickolaus A. Pacione shares his opinion on Stephen J. Cannell's latest horror film, The Tooth Fairy. The review and movie are both not for the faint of heart.
There is a lot to be said about this horror film by Stephen J. Cannell, and those of you who knew him better as an action/adventure writer or a mystery writer. Better still as a T.V. producer. Either way you can't ignore some of his achivements, and him doing horror is the newest for him in the sense of doing the film The Garden or this case The Tooth Fairy.
First off I really enjoyed the film, but I imagine some of the parts of the film might be a lot scarier on paper. Don't get me wrong this is one of his most fucked up horror pieces to date and I get to see a few more of his sent my way. I want to thank the guys at Anchor Bay Entertainment's sister company for bringing this movie to my attention. My room mates and I were watching this one late at night and found ourselves dropping a jaw or two when the castration scene was shown. This was the first time in a horror film that someone's detatched privates were shown on screen.
I was holding myself in pain seeing what happened there, and even there it was just as gruesome as the rest of the scenes in the film. This was a film that could fit what was done in the early 1980s as being a slasher flick, but at the same time it gave a back story to the origin of the Tooth Fairy. The story itself is a witch story but elements of a ghost story being the first time you really see a kid death that is so damned brutal it was surprising how it got past the censors. That was one of the reasons why this movie was done as a direct to DVD picture.
Not to mention Cannell will be in my neck of the woods on September 8, 2006, so I will have to get him to sign my copies of both these films. I noticed a few people gave these movies bad reviews, but I give Cannell a lot of credit for doing horror. I think he should turn this one into a novelization because it would be a lot scarier on paper, in the sense of being able to develop the characters more for this one. Keep in mind that like The Garden, this horror film was also done on a medium budget.
Not too shabby for a writer who is better known for writing "The A-Team" or "21 Jump Street," I give him a lot of credit from doing those shows I remembered at different points of my life as a kid, to doing the genre I became known for writing myself. He left this movie open for a sequel, but the deaths in the film make this one as brutal as the written counterparts. My advice for Cannell when it comes to writing horror is start collecting horror books by H.P. Lovecraft and films by Stuart Gordon because once he gets some of their works, he would be able to do some horror films that are even more scary than the Tooth Fairy was. The film itself was semi-Lovecraftian in nature but at the same time would echo the pages of Algernon Blackwood.
When he does his signing in Chicago, I will pick up a few copies of Alvin Schwartz's books for him. Hell I will make sure I get a copy of my magazine in his hands so he can read The Hitchhiker's Wanderings. I give him a lot of credit where credit is due, horror is one of those genres he's still learning.