Ah, Teeth. We've been obsessed with this movie about a young girl who discovers teeth in her taco since we saw the trailer back in November. The movie opens today in New York and Los Angeles, so critics have finally started jawing about the dentata drama, and though the reviews are generally positive, everyone is in agreement that the film's star, Jess Weixler, is fab. (Salon calls Weixler's big screen debut "A pointed performance in a movie that mostly just gums its subject".) The rest of the peanut gallery chews it up, after the jump.
"Teeth" is mildly entertaining in places — you can't beat a bloodied, disembodied penis for grim laughs — but it's not nearly as deep or as thought-provoking as Lichtenstein clearly intends it to be...Weixler navigates the drama of that discovery with a degree of subtlety that defies the schlocky silliness of the movie around her. It's a pointed performance in a movie that mostly just gums its subject.
Ain't It Cool News
This is a very very smart movie and one that despite a really terrifying amount of intimate gore - it plays tender. Seriously.
New York Times
As much as you applaud its satiric nerve, once "Teeth" has demonstrated how far it will go, its joke becomes repetitive. Before the movie's over, the screen is littered with severed pieces of the male anatomy, one of which is snapped up by a dog. Ho-hum. The problem with shockers, comic or otherwise, is that once the coup de grâce is delivered, there are no big surprises left.
Writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein is onto something really fresh in his feature debut, flipping a graphic warning for men into an empowering fable for women. He tacks on some sci-fi-grade commentary about Darwinian genetic adaptation. And he tosses in just enough goofy-grotesque, chomp-chomp gore to keep midnight-madness audiences entertained, a tonal balancing act carried out with star-making poise (in the tradition of peachy beauties with comic capabilities) by Weixler in her first big feature role.
New York Post
The graphic, Troma-grade special effects sometimes undercut Weixler's serious performance. The movie doesn't turn truly (if darkly) funny until the final half-hour, when a newly empowered Dawn decides to get some payback with her sleazy stepbrother (John Hensley).
Los Angeles Times
Campy, shameless and sophisticated, Lichtenstein's debut is gutsy and original, and it makes "Juno" look positively tame by comparison.
[V]eteran actor Lichtenstein, the son of Pop artist Roy, rarely finds a workable tone, muffling the splattery mayhem with sluggish pacing and a tendency toward camp. Still, even if the movie's little more than a curio, I love the thought of Lichtenstein at the pitch meeting: "It's Jaws meets The Vagina Monologues!"
Harry Has Seen Teeth - And Is Still Not Afraid Of The Vagina!!! [Ain't It Cool News]
Teeth [New York Times]
Teeth [Entertainment Weekly]
Chaste Makes Waste In Mental Dental Horror Spoof [New York Post]
Teeth [Los Angeles Times]
Village Voice [Village Voice]