Darkness Falls is like something salvaged from Stephen King's wastebasket: In a sleepy Maine burg, the locals are getting killed by...the tooth fairy! (Coming soon: ''Easter Bunny -- The Revenge.'') It's up to a grown orphan (the justly little-known Chaney Kley), whose mother was slaughtered by the creature, and his childhood sweetheart (''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'''s vapid Emma Caulfield) to extract the evil force from town.
Director Jonathan Liebesman confuses scaring the audience with simply startling them. Every shock is accompanied by a loud crash -- and telegraphed by having the victim utter some quasi-ironic line like ''See, there's nothing to be afraid of.'' Oh, but there is.