Fear not the dentist. Fear the tooth fairy.
There is something that is uniquely vulgar about the tooth fairy. What could be more sick and twisted than a fairy flying around the world collecting plaque-coated and smelly dente? A woman who had her teeth ripped out, with rusted dental equipment, and who now haunts a poor little girl and her mother. The Haunting of Helena is a ghost story that has unmistakable ambiance to Guillermo del Toro toothed thriller Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. After her divorce, Sophia (Harriet MacMasters-Green) move with her daughter, Helena (Sabrina Jolie-Perez) to an old apartment that happens to contain an old “haunted” dresser. Since it is an antique dresser, the mother allows her daughter to keep the old dresser in her room. Guess what happens next–the little girl get haunted by the toothless ghost with no teeth and halitosis.
As soon as Helena lost her first baby tooth, all hell broke loose. The apparition start haunting Helena during sleep. As a result, Helena begins to obsessively “collect” teeth from her friends and classmates at school. Her mother, Sophia is just about to lose her mind through it all. Lot of crying teeming nightmares and blood.
The concern here is “Haunting” is mostly a re-hashing of the same toothed fairy tale. The atmosphere is often cloudy and visually dark with an underlying depressive appeal. However, though the film lacks originality and proper story structure, it is eerily effective. Mostly due to the impressive effects: in one scene, it rains teeth and blood, and the actual ghost’s ill denture mouth is cringe worthy. Who would not haunt humanity if each tooth ripped out at the gums. The cinematics mostly have viewers wander through dimly lit corridors, and it is hard to see much of what needed to be seen. The acting performances came off as a tad theatrical.
Overall, the movie has its moments where the shock value is efficient. However, it suffers from slow pacing and more often than not, bad visual effects.
The Haunting of Helena DVD includes a behind-the-scenes look and a visual effects featurette. Total run time 84 minutes.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment. All rights reserved.