Monday, February 2, 2015

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)

"It's been a long time"


65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so called moonlight begin again. is it a copycat or something even more sinister? a lonely high school girl, with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching him


The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a remake(Sort of) to the original film of the same name which was made in 1976 which was based on the true story of the mask killer known only as the phantom that terrorized Texarkana back in 1946.

This film begins with a recap of the real life events that took place in 1946 and then references the 1976 film, then comes to current day where Jami (Addison Timlin) and her boyfriend Corey (Spencer Treat Clark) are at the drive in watching the original film which has become something of a yearly thing for the people of Texarkana who somewhat have embraced the tragic events from years ago.

Jami not being really into horror films wants to leave which Corey has no problem in doing, as they are leaving Reverend Cartwright(Edward Herrmann) is warning everyone about the movie they are watching, he’s something of the prophet of doom.

Jami and Corey ends up at lover’s lane the original phantom’s hunting grounds and while their after 66 years The Phantom appears and forces them out of the car, he tells Corey to get on the ground and for Jami to turn around and not look as he gets down on top of Corey and stabs him repeatedly.

Jami manages to escape and ends up in the hospital and when the rest of the town hears about what happened it causes the town to go into a frenzy and opens up once long forgotten feelings about The Phantom killer.

One thing I enjoyed about this movie was how the filmmakers made homages to the original film a few of the death scenes are play out exactly like a few of the ones in the original, most of note being the trombone scene.

The cast was a little interesting with a few known actors (Anthony Anderson, Gary Cole, Veronica Cartwright, Denis O’Hare,Ed Lauter and Edward Herrmann) showing up threw out, It would’ve been nice to have seen the police play a more important role in this film but they took a backseat this time too the main character.

Anthony Anderson character is based off of the Texas Ranger from the original film played by Ben Johnson and even dressed like him but isn’t given much to do, same with Gary Cole but he does have one of the more memorable scenes in the film.

Denis O’Hare does very well with the limited screen time he gets here as Charles B. Pierce, Jr. the son of the original filmmaker. It would’ve been good to see more of him here since he seemed to be the most committed to his role and what the film was all about.

The lead Addison Timlin as Jami does a decent job as the only survivor of The Phantom attacks and we’re given much of her own backstory but even with all of that there did seem to be something missing, maybe like I mentioned before if the police played more of a role in this film then it would’ve made her seem like a better character some how.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown does a good job of bridging the original with this new film and I was entertained through out, but if there is one big problem that I had with the film would be with the finale, I will not spoil it but the ending felt rushed and weak for the most part and some what slasher film cliched which this film wasn’t for two-thirds of it.

All in all if you are a fan of the original film or even if you are not The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a good watch and more violent then the original, the story is well pace and played out except for the ending but that shouldn’t ruin the overall viewing, it’s one of the better horror films from 2014 and seemed to fly under the radar for a lot of people.

So check it out since it’s streaming currently on netflix as is the original so you could have a double feature and make a night of it.


Addison Timlin-Jami
Veronica Cartwright- Lillian
Anthony Anderson-Lone Wolf Morales
Gary Cole- Chief Deputy Tillman
Travis Tope- Nick
Edward Herrmann-Reverend Cartwright
Ed Lauter- Sheriff Underwood
Denis O'Hare- Charles B. Pierce, Jr
Spencer Treat Clark- Corey
Morganna May- Kendra
Joshua Leonard- Deputy Foster 

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