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Darkness Falls (2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: January 24, 2003
CAP Score: 21
CAP Influence Density: 2.04
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Production: Blue Star Productions, Distant Corners Entertainment Group Inc. Distribution: Columbia Pictures, Revolution Studios Director(s): Jonathan Liebesman Producer(s): Lou Arkoff, Derek Dauchy, Irene Dobson, John Fasano, John Hegeman, William Sherak, Jason Shuman Written by/Screenplay: Story: Joseph Harris. Screenplay: John Fasano, James Vanderbilt, Joseph Harris Cinematography/Camera: Dan Laustsen Music: Brian Tyler Film Editing: Timothy Alverson, Steve Mirkovich, Alan Woodruff Casting: Maura Fay, Lynn Ruthven Production Design: George Liddle Art Direction: Tom Nursey
The story begins in the city of Darkness Falls with Kyle Walsh (Joshua Anderson, later Chaney Klev) extracting his last baby tooth with blood streaming out of his mouth. Kyle is well beyond baby teeth time and looks to be at least 13 years old. The next paragraph helps identify Kyle's approximate age as well. That paints the beginning of the picture as stupid, but it doesn't stop there. Stupid reeks throughout the film. It even has an elevator working during a hospital power outage.
Visiting Kyle in his bedroom after dark is likewise 13 year old Caitlin Green (Emily Browning, later Emma Caulfield). After an invite from her to go swimming - in the dark - Caitlin starts planting wet ones on Kyle and says "The first time should not taste like blood. It should be sweet." And, of course, the longing looks of a type of hunger filled the faces of both.
Many moons ago, an elderly lady named Matilda performed as the tooth fairy (the original name for this movie). She would give kids a cookie when they brought her their lost baby teeth. One day she was hideously burned in a house fire. She began wearing a porcelain mask to prevent anyone from seeing her mercilessly disfigured, burned face. Her burns were so bad that her skin became photosensitive and she could not bear any light. That is Matilda in the poster artwork.
Soon, two young boys disappeared and Matilda was blamed, lynched and hung. Not long after that, the two boys showed up unharmed and fine. Matilda placed a curse on [Deut. 18:10 - 12, Eccl. 8:8 ] the town and became night terrors for anyone who looks at her. As a ghost, Matilda begins visiting Kyle because his last baby tooth was placed under his pillow. That's what she did. Visited kids who placed their last baby tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy. By the way, she killed them, too. The kids, that is. And anyone else in Darkness Falls. Indeed, when Kyle's mother tried to assure him there were no bogey men coming to get him by going into Kyle's room, the female version of the bogey man killed her. The townspeople blame Kyle for killing his mother.
At best count, Matilda kills ten people. Including all but one of the Darkness Falls police department and a number of hospital personnel. Not one of which put his/her last baby tooth under his/her pillow. Quite diversified, isn't she? She collects baby teeth and kills people. Tut, tut! We must be tolerant of people of diverse lifestyles, mustn't we?
Twelve years later, Caitlin's young brother, Michael Greene (Lee Cormie) develops the night terror's and Caitlin enlists the aide of Kyle. The rest of the plot is cardboard horror and unholy playtime. Cormie may very well have been the best performer in the show, much like Haley Joel Osment was in The Sixth Sense. Just as Osment led veteran Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, Cormie led Klev and Caulfield in Darkness Falls.
The MPAA says Darkness Falls is PG-13 because of gruesome images. Truly there were some gruesome images, but nothing is said about the nineteen uses of foul language including the most foul of the foul words [Col. 3:8] and God's name in vain with the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. There is no nudity but with the "wet T-shirt" there might as well have been -- the actions that caused the "wet t-shirt" are clearly manufactured to get some "skin" into the film. Some guy in a bar spilled a drink on only the chest of a woman wearing a thin top then she stands up and it snugs to her anatomy like a coat of paint [**, 2 Sam. 6:20]. But sexual issues and even use of the three/four letter word vocabulary are not the biggest theft of scoring points. Violence, murder and unholy/evil issues are. With a final score of 21, it is sort of like what does it matter that there is no raw nudity in the movie? Of the six CAP invetiagation areas, the only one in which the area score fell in the range earned by PG-13 movies (55 to 67 out of 100) was Sex/Homosexuality. Each of the other five investigation area scores fell in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies (54 and below). Two of them were zero. Yessiree, this is a PG-13 alright. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will explain.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|