The general formula for getting a new movie recognized in America nowadays tends to be by means of a clever gimmick or craft in advertising and hype (Cloverfield, The 300, etc.). Teeth is an interesting addition to this formula, as it is a B-horror movie that is generally marketed to an indie comedy audience. Iif you’re interested in seeing it it’s almost guaranteed you know what it’s about before walking into the theater. Unfortunately for Teeth, it manages to give you just that and absolutely nothing else for 90 minutes, and I mean that in the worst possible way:
The movie is about a teenage girl who discovers teeth in her vagina.
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That’s it. You can basically write the rest of the story yourself.
Yep, there’s pretty much nothing else to the movie beyond that. The film milks its premise of the audience knowing what’s going to come for nearly 45 minutes before anything involving the plot actually happens. By the time she discovers her problem, half of the movie is gone and any opportunity for interesting character development, sexual commentary, dramatic tension, or remote intelligence is thrown out the window.
Teeth milks as many plot devices for cheap comedic payoff as possible as well: the young, innocent Christian girl who takes a vow of chastity, the boyfriend who wants her to break that vow, the difficulties between being either a prude or a slut in high school… without ruining whatever story there actually remains to ruin. There’s a subplot involving her negligent and completely cookie-cutter character of a brother being a jerk to her parents as well, but it fails to develop that at all for the sake of throwing in more jokes about biting and vaginas than Mr. Freeze has jokes about ice in Batman & Robin.
By the time her character is thrown any interesting development and drama in the way of this bizarre plot, it’s already turned into a generic rape/revenge B-movie and the credits have come up the screen. I’ve heard some women say they felt “liberated” by this movie and to those women I would advise them to seek therapy as soon as possible. To say that is no better than saying as a sexually frustrated male I felt “liberated” watching pornography, which of course cannot be said due to political correctness.
It could’ve been an interesting study of womanhood, of growing up, of men’s sexual fears and the relationship between loving someone and having sex with them… but it’s not. It’s a sleazy, stupid exploitation flick that doesn’t spare any opportunity to show its violent acts in gory detail. It also proves, sadly, that indie movies suffer from the same marketing gimmicks and worn-out clichés as mainstream movies. If you want something better but along similar thematic lines, I would recommend Hard Candy, Lady Vengeance, and of course the classic Virgin Spring. But please, avoid this at all costs unless you just enjoy dumb, sick thrills.
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