This Italian film is a psychological supernatural mystery that I picked up cheap in the the local supermarket. It is on of those films that are entertaining enough to watch but it really doesn’t have anything that stands out enough to make it memorable
Sophia (Harriet MacMasters-Green) is moving into her new apartment in Italy with her young daughter Helena (Sabrina Jolie Perez) to get on with her life after Sophia’s husband Robert (Jarreth J. Merz) left her to find himself (a younger woman). Sophia is a historian who teaches at a local college and she is teaching her students about how the city they are in was created by the Fascist leader Mussolini when he drained the coastal marshes, eradicated the malaria carrying mosquitoes and created farm land.
Not long after they move in Helena starts losing one of her milk teeth. While driving Helena to her school Sophia tells her the story of the tooth fairy. Sophia is also getting distracted by interference on her car’s GPS and crashes into a truck when she strays into the wrong lane. The car gets smashed and turned around before skidding off the bridge into the water.
Sophia comes round in hospital and her first concern is Helena and she’s told she’s in the next room. Once she’s been checked out by Doctor Fabiano (Giuliano Montaldo) Sophia goes to see Helena who is looking a bit shaken up but seems relatively unhurt. Sophia apologises for crashing the car but Helena seems mainly concerned about losing her loose tooth in the accident. She demands that her mother find it right away.
Later when they go back to their apartment Sophia discovers Helena has another loose tooth and it is loose enough that Sophia can pull it out and she tells Helena that they can put it under her pillow and the tooth fairy will give her money for it. At night Sophia sneaks into Helena’s room to find the tooth but Helena wakes up and tells her the tooth fairy has already taken away the tooth.
Next morning Sophie asks about find any money and Helena says she did but she knows her mother left it because the tooth fairy had already been and given her money for her tooth. She shows the coins she claims she got and they are all strange old coins. This is the start of Helena acting like there really something in the old wardrobe in her room that wants teeth and gets angry with anyone who gets in her way. Sophia thinks that it might be a result of a head injury in the accident but after repeated tests Dr Fabiano assures her there is no sign of any physical problem. Helena has been drawing many pictures of the scary tooth fairy and Dr Fabiano shows them to a psychiatrist colleague. The psychiatrist is the one who alerts Sophia to the disturbing history of the building she is staying in.
It turns out there was a terrible crime committed in the building and it involved the wardrobe in Helena’s room. There’s also a creepy old neighbour Mr Ferri (Paolo Paoloni) who seems to know exactly what’s going on and warns Sophia to move out before it’s too late. Since it’s a horror film of course Sophia ignores the crazy man until it’s too late and she also sees the figure that is scaring her daughter. Sophia has to solve the mystery of the supernatural threat to her daughter while her ex-husband thinks he has grounds for applying for custody of Helena because the mental instability suggested by Sophia believing that a ghost is after their daughter. It builds to the fairly typical resolution of the mystery but this film has a little extra trick up its sleeve with a neat little dark twist in the ending that I liked.
It is interesting to watch an Italian horror film that has been dubbed into English not long after watching Berberian Sound Studio but this lot less gory than the exploitation film that was being made in that film. Instead it relies more on a fairly standard ghost story format with a creepy atmosphere and a small amount of CGI. It isn’t particularly scary but I was drawn in to the story while watching it even if I probably won’t remember it very much