The Legend of Matilda Dixon: Is the 2003 Short Film Based on Real Life?

‘The Legend of Matilda Dixon’ is a horror  short film that narrates the story of Matilda Dixon, the antagonist of the movie ‘Darkness Falls,’ also known as Tooth Fairy. The movie showcases the events of a town that accuses Matilda of the murder of children. There is no proof against her, yet they kill the innocent woman without a fair trial, and she pledges to get revenge on them. Directed by John Hegeman, the 2003 movie explores the backstory of Matilda. It’s recorded in a documentary-style format, so if you’re curious whether there’s any shred of truth to the story, we’ve got you covered.

The Legend of Matilda Dixon is Not a True Story

No, ‘The Legend of Matilda Dixon’ is not based on a true story. Although it is presented in a way that convinces one about the lore. Director and writer John Hegeman was reportedly filming ‘Darkness Falls’ in Melbourne and wanted to create an origin story for the Tooth Fairy. He was inspired by ‘The Blair Witch Project‘ and was adamant about crafting a story that intersected with actual events.

In the production office, Hegeman came across a book about Port Fairy (a real town in Australia), so he connected the legend of the Tooth Fairy from ‘Darkness Falls’ to this place due to the resemblance in the name. He commented, “It was a matter of convenience. It wasn’t premeditated beyond that.” ‘The Legend of Matilda Dixon’ was filmed when ‘Darkness Falls’ was also being lensed in Melbourne. The crew shot around the city and the small town of Port Fairy on their days off. Due to the short film being so convincing, he apologized to the town folks for any problems it might cause them.

To Hegeman, it was more like a joke, and he said, “I want people to have a sense of humor about it and gain something from it.” There were many details about Matilda in the film, from her birth to her tragic death, but none were ever substantiated. So, it is safe to say that the John Hegeman directorial is a mockumentary that utilized props to feature old documentation and staged interviews with local actors.

However, there are several incidents of wrongful executions and convictions worldwide. A similar case occurred in Australia, where a bar owner named Colin Campbell Eadie Ross was executed on April 24, 1992, for the murder of a child. Efforts were made to prove his innocence, and advancements in forensic techniques confirmed that he was not guilty of the crime. Colin remained composed before his execution by hanging.

The man said, “I am now face to face with my Maker, and I swear by Almighty God that I am an innocent man. I never saw the child. I never committed the crime, and I don’t know who did. I never confessed to anyone. I ask God to forgive those who have sworn my life away, and I pray God to have mercy on my poor darling mother and my family.” To reiterate, ‘The Legend of Matilda Dixon’ is a fictional tale and a marketing tactic for ‘Darkness Falls.’ But there have been many instances of people who were accused of a crime they never committed and executed for the same, like the fictional character of Matilda.

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