Clocking in at just over an hour and a half and with a rating of 5.4 on IMDb, Teeth is not the most reputable of horror films. It doesn’t intend to be either, telling instead the story of a celibate woman going through puberty with teeth in her vagina. Part cautionary tale, part social commentary on rape and part ridiculous romp through as many grotesque and gratuitous shots of severed penises as can be, Teeth may be a lot of things – but miss-able is not one of them.
Dawn is an average high school loser who frequently gives talks on celibacy and the beauty of staying pure in God’s eyes. Once she starts dating Tobey and finds out he isn’t a virgin, her perfect image of chastity is tainted as he attempts to sleep with her. When she rejects his advances, he forces himself on her, something which he barely lives to regret. Through no conscious effort, Dawn manages to somehow cut Tobey’s penis off from the very bottom, leaving him to bleed out at the bottom of the lake. This situation repeats again until she finally learns to control her ‘gift’ of vagina dentata to use against would-be rapists.
Whether this film is intended as a feminist exploration of the issue of rape and consent or not, Teeth can be enjoyed as such. On this Halloween, why not treat yourself to a good old laugh at this ridiculous script, whilst simultaneously warning any penis-owning people around you what can truly happen when you muscle in somewhere you aren’t wanted.
Stay tuned for my immense feature about Carrie and the role of mothers in horror, coming very soon!