The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so-called 'moonlight murders' 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.

Rating: R (for brutal violence, grisly images, strong sexual content, and language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Earl E. Smith
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 8, 2015


as Charles B. Pierce, ...

as Lone Wolf Morales

as Deputy Foster

as Sackhead

as Chief Deputy Tillmak

as Reverend Cartwright

as Sheriff Underwood

as Dr. Kelly

as Arkansas Mayor

as Texas Mayor

as Sheriff Rutland

as Mr. Holland

as Mrs. Holland

as Townsperson

as Mrs. Scott

as Older Farmer

as Newscaster

as Ronald Murray

as Newscaster #2

as Young Jami

as Townsperson #2

as Radio Announcer

as Sparkplug

as Benjamin

as Young Jami's Father

as Young Jami's Mother

as Man in Diner

as Gas Station Geezer

as Projectionist

as Preacher's Wife

as Preacher's Wife

as Texas Sheriff
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Town That Dreaded Sundown

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (2)

A clever concept and stylish execution (in both senses) aren't quite enough to make this achingly meta remake/reboot/sequel stand out from the slasher pack.

Full Review… | April 13, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

The 'American Horror Story' team remakes the cult 1976 slasher with gimmicky, mostly unscary results.

Full Review… | October 16, 2014
Top Critic

Knowledge of the first film probably helps, but it's a nifty little genre experiment nonetheless.

Full Review… | April 20, 2015

With its small-town atmospherics, a juicy supporting cast of character players, plus Addison Timlin's personable, plucky "final girl", this Town is pulled off with polished, enjoyable brashness ...

Full Review… | April 19, 2015
Observer [UK]

This is an exercise in nostalgia as much as bloodletting. The filmmakers are paying their very own tribute to teen-horror pics of the 1970s.

Full Review… | April 16, 2015

Not a straight remake of the 1976 cult horror movie, The Town That Dreaded Sundown is more a self-referential homage that takes the original film's legacy and embellishes it.

Full Review… | April 16, 2015
Times [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The concept behind the film, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, is actually a lot more interesting then the film itself. From the minds behind American Horror Story, comes a tale that is based on the true story of The Phantom Killer, who was active in Texarkana, Texas during 1946. The story was originally turned into a successful film in 1975, but rather than re-make it or do a sequel, the writers went in a totally different direction, one that I've never seen before. This film takes place in 2014 and acknowledges the story and even the previous film. In fact, clips of the original film are seen throughout this movie, and even the son of the original Director plays a part in this new film, which sees the Phantom Killer return after a nearly 70 year absence. Addison Timlin stars, following her leading role in Odd Thomas, and with new challenges comes experience. While I loved Odd Thomas, I thought she was terrible, but in this film it's a complete turn around, as Timlin is the strong female lead a film like this requires. As for the film itself, besides it's interesting play on the previous film, it really wasn't much more than your typical whodunit slasher film. Interesting to note though, unlike the first film, this movie was shot at the actual crime scenes from 1946. It also marks the last on screen appearances of both Edward Herrmann (Gilmore Girls) and Ed Lauter (Shameless, ER) who died shortly after filming. I love the concept of this film, it displays just how talented and imaginative the team behind American Horror Story and the upcoming American Crime Story really are, but overall, if you've seen one slasher film, sadly, you've seen them all.

Todd Smith

Super Reviewer

Beautifully shot, scored and edited horror with a brutal, Zodiac vibe. The meta way it references the original film (which I haven't yet seen) doesn't always work, and the story beats are occasionally a bit clumsy, but this is a brilliant debut film - in parts genuinely scary, disturbing and thrilling.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

A meta-sequel to the first film in which Texarkana experienced a series of murders based on the film 65 years later. It was very well directed even though the acting was terrible, there were some plot holes but overall it served as a sequel worthy of the title.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

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