The Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014)

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some originality in storytelling

Feels a bit too postmodern at points

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Town that Dreaded Sundown

Studio:  Blumhouse Productions

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 16, 2014

MPAA Rating:  R

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I hear Jason stole my style…well, I’m back!

In 1946, a series of murders began in the small town of Texarkana and the killer was never captured.  In 1976, Charles B. Pierce made a film about the murders and called it The Town that Dreaded Sundown.  Over the years, the film has gained a cult following, and Texarkana even benefits from the horror that came from their past.  Now, a new killer has surfaced.  Jami Lerner (Addison Timlin) is spared in his first attack and as the horror grows, she seeks out the killer and his ties to the past with Nick (Travis Tope)…but Jami might not survive a second encounter after the sun sets.

Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, The Town that Dreaded Sundown is a postmodern horror film.  The movie is a remake, a sequel, and reflective all at the same time.  The film was released to mixed reviews.

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This has not been a very good day…

The original The Town that Dreaded Sundown is largely considered one of the first slasher films.  Released in 1976, the movie has a weird documentary-esque feel to it as it covers the events (which were loosely based on the Phantom Killer).  This film likewise has a strange feel to it by incorporating The Town that Dreaded Sundown within this story to mixed results.

The movie is very reflexive.  It knows it is a horror movie and plays a bit with horror movie tropes like Scream but without a humorous approach.  The movie is pretty dark and violent.  I like a lot of what the movie does, but it does have a pretty standard horror movie ending when considering some of the film’s creativity.

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I thought there were auditions for Lawrence Welk!

The movie has a surprising number of character actors appearing it.  While the primary leads are generally unknowns, the movie has genre classic Veronica Cartwright as Jami’s grandmother along with Gary Cole as Chief Deputy Tillman and Anthony Anderson as Lone Wolf Morales.  The movie features the last role of Ed Lauter and one of the last roles of Edward Herrmann.

The movie feels like an ’80s horror film…and that is a good thing to me.  The movie is violent, the killer isn’t humorous, and the victims are not always predictable.  It looks quite good and feels more like it is trying to build a franchise.  I don’t know that it would necessary be a bad thing, but it probably wouldn’t be able to continue any originality.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown is a movie that fans of horror can enjoy.  I highly recommend seeing the original Town that Dreaded Sundown before you see this version because attacks like the trumpet kill make much more sense and the film is enriched.  We’ll see if the hooded killer returns again in forty years.

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The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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