The Town That Dreaded Sundown

I did not know much about this film before I went to see it. I knew it was a slasher horror and some kind of remake/sequel to a 1970s film of the same name. That was about it. But sometimes it’s nice to see something where you have no expectations of. And I thought the name sounded cool.

In the town of Texarkana during the annual showing of the 1976 film The Town That Dreaded Sundown (based on actual murders that happened in Texarkana in the 1940s), teenagers Jami ( Addison Timlin) and Corey (Spencer Treat Clark) sneak off to a secluded area to make out. However they are interrupted by a figure known as the Phantom who kills Corey and Jami is left alive to deliver a message to the town “This is for Mary. Make them remember.” As the attacks continue the town of Texarkana are sent into a state of tension and suspicion.

While technically billed as a horror/slasher movie the film is also a meta-sequel making references to the 1970’s movie and to a spree of killings in the 1940s in which the killer was never discovered. It makes for an interesting mix and helps the movie stand out from all the other generic horrors out there. So it may disappoint those who are looking for a more standard slasher movie but may interest those looking for something a dit different. The film also looks great and is well-directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

There was a good amount of gore for a 15 certificate film. A few things made me squirm and there was some inventive deaths which should please horror fans. Though I think the film could have been more scarier overall which ultimately stops the film from being rated more highly. The film also falls foul to some horror movie clichés such as people walking around alone at night and sneaking off to have sex when they know that there’s a killer on the loose that specifically targets people having sex! Seriously you think that would put some people off but instead it seems to make everyone in town hornier than ever.

While Addison Timlin is a sympathetic lead with a tragic background, some of the supporting cast could have been padded out a bit more. Characters like the Texas ranger ‘Lone Wolf’ Morales (Anthony Anderson) and Reverend Cartwright (Edward Kirk Herrmann) could have done with more development. Still this a fun little movie that enjoys being a bit different.

Rating 3/5 – a few more scares are needed but an enjoyable meta-horror all the same

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The Town That Dreaded Sundown

  1. Nice review, I haven’t seen either film, but I’m very curious to see it. On another note, Eric and I have done a joint post over on his site if you’re interested.

  2. I think if I had the rare chance to sneak off and have sex while a killer was on the loose I’d still take the chance!

  3. Hi Lauren, cool review yo. I think I’ve heard of this film or at least come across it at some point in recent years. When did it actually come out? Anyways like you I was attracted to the film by the name alone, sounds hella cool and mysterious. This film sounds like it may be for me, while I don’t care much for horror films, when it is gory I’m more than happy to give it a shot because that is the kind of stuff I can handle lol.

    • Thanks. I think it came out last year in the US and then came out this month in the UK. It wasn’t in a lot of cinemas though. If you do get to find it I hope you enjoy it.

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