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John’s Horror Corner: The Haunting of Helena (2013), a dark fairy tale about a vengeful Tooth Fairy

February 24, 2014

MY CALL:  This movie was good, but the key word here is creepy.  Good old-fashioned creepy storytelling done well with an excellent creepy atmosphere.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The Haunting of HelenaDarkness Falls (2003), Mama (2013) and Haunt (2013).  Maybe even The Possession (2012)?  Perhaps Dead Silence (2007) or The Uninvited (2009)… just to take a few more stabs in the dark.

Written and produced by rookie filmmakers, the long-short of it all is this:  In this twisted take on the “tooth fairy” fairy tale, an Italian Malaria ghost wants her teeth back and she’ll kill as many innocent people as it takes until one of them happens to randomly figure out why she’s killing, what she wants and where to find it.

The story begins when young Helena notices her first loose tooth and inquires about the tooth fairy.  Her mother Sophia, like any loving parent, humors her with an all too familiar story.  But for the “horror” in this story to take root something must go wrong for Helena and her single mother.

This evil enters their lives after they get a cursed wardrobe with claw marks on the inside.  Maybe it’s just me and I’m just paranoid or superstitious, but upon seeing claw marks on the inside of a lockable “anything” I’d think twice about it.  Like an imprisoning lamp to its genie, this wardrobe had–until now–kept an evil restless spirit at bay.

This is the face I would make when I saw the claw marks “inside” the wardrobe!

Following familiar formula, the young child in our story begins to act strangely.  Helena buys teeth from her elementary school classmates in the schoolyard with curiously old coins which she couldn’t possibly have stumbled across on her own.  She also begins producing disturbing drawings.

From there some very creepy things happen, Helena begins talking to an “imaginary” friend, and there are some good scares along the way.  Many scenes were VERY chilling.

This young actress’ soulful eyes worked wonders for the creepy atmosphere of this film.

There’s a twist at the end.  It was unnecessary; the movie was fine without it.  But I had fun with it anyway and it added another dimension to the solid storytelling.

This is no must-see sensation, but it was done very well and it would be a worthy contribution to a dark and stormy night (alone or with a date, etc.).  The ghost is presented with fine effects; our evil tooth fairy is creepy, disturbing and nuanced.

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