Teeth is not a full-tilt horror movie but has an underlying horror element at its core. It is also part comedy and part coming-of-age movie, that plays heavily on strange drama. In the written form this would be considered a weird tale, a special subgenre of horror. The film follows the life of a young lady, Dawn, (Jess Weixler) in a religious vow of purity, as she comes to grips with her own sexual awakening.
Unbeknownst to Dawn, she has a much different physiology than the other girls at her high school. She soon learns this difference, along with her unsuspecting young love interest, Tobey. It seems that Dawn was born with vaginal dentata – yes, a set of sharp teeth down there. Whenever she becomes frightened, nervous, angry or alarmed, the teeth clamp shut. Good luck to any horny young man who thought he was getting some, only to realize he has lost something instead. There are a couple of graphic scenes depicting this, which will have any guy squirming in their seat. The horror is counterbalanced with some highly comedic elements including an overzealous gynecologist who, after a struggle, loses a few fingers during Dawn’s first examination.
Through these horrific and comedic elements, the film provides commentary on the modern dysfunctional family and the plight of a young woman against the unrelenting, conqueror male ego. Although it is not the typical horror film, I could not resist getting caught up in the story, mostly because Jess Weixler plays the part of Dawn to perfection. With a performance like this one, I am surprised she hasn’t been offered some major roles in bigger films. I was engrossed throughout her discovery, journey, and final transformation into accepting the monstrous truth of what she is and what she will become.