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THIS IS THE SEQUEL, not the original. Beware! This sequel isn't terrible but it isn't nearly as good as the original. Some of the acting was decent, some not. The 'Texas Ranger' was a slap in the face of Chuck Norris. This guy is arrogant, caustic, and unfriendly. He even steals Chuck Norris' handle, 'Lone Wolf' (From Lone Wolfe Mcquade). hollywood's portrayal of adults as stupid continues as a high school girl 'investigates' and out-thinks and outsmarts the adult investigators. hollywood's anti-Christian bigotry is rampantly represented in this movie and is inexcusable!
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014): 7 out of 10: Before I start with the spoiler let me say for the vast length of its running time The Town that Dreaded Sundown is a top quality horror film with pleasant atmosphere and some genuinely top notch scenes, it is a remake of the mid-seventies "true story" slasher flick that, like the similarly themed Black Christmas, came out a few years before Halloween but didn't have the magic of that meticulous movie. The remake intelligently folds the original film into its narrative by having a festival celebrating when the horror film was made locally, and the movie opens in a drive-in theater at the heart of that festival.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown has solid visuals, location shooting, and camera work. The film also benefits from the above board, for the genre, acting. It is a delight to see Anthony Anderson back on the big screen chewing scenery and taking names. The late Ed Lauter, an actor you immediately recognize but cannot quite place, is also very good in his last role. (As an aside to this aside this movie also sports Edward Herrmann's last role and while he doesn't quite make the same impression as Ed in this movie he certainly fits the actor you immediately recognize but cannot quite place trope to a T.)
Okay, Spoiler Alert. (Submarine alarm horn alert, interior perspective repeated twice.) The "reveal" for this film is awful. The movie simply cheats. You are supposed to guess which of our heroine's friends is dressing up as an old serial killer and recreating his crimes. The movie spends a significant amount of time on this mystery. It turns out to be two people. The first is our protagonist's boyfriend who is "killed" while they are about to have sex at the beginning of the flick. Why is he a masked serial killer? I think he claimed he was either was bored or wanted to be famous. His motivation is as weak as having him alive. I mean our heroine goes to his funeral the next day. Nobody noticed the body wasn't him? Switching bodies don't usually work during a murder investigation.
Our other killer is the helpful and almost a love interest in his own right Deputy Foster who reveals (at the end of course) that he is the grandson of the killer. Haha just kidding he explains he is the grandson of the killer's last victim named McCreedy. The film even takes the time to visit a local filmmaker historian to declares this unknown (and up to this point unmentioned) McCreedy relative may be our killer. The family was angry because his killing was left out of the original exploitation film apparently. (Fair enough I know the film claims they felt overlooked since the first murder. But come on people. My relative was brutally chopped by an ax and not hit by a train, so our family needs um credit? It is a strange grudge to keep up for a year let alone over three generations.)
Could the ending have worked? Well make the boyfriend's body disappear after being killed (and having authority figures secretly doubt our heroine till the next murders) is a tried and true technique that would have fit well here. Having Deputy Foster named Deputy McCreedy would have also gone a long way to creating suspense (Maybe that filmmaker/historian is right, and if so the killer was at her house the entire time.) In reality, however, the biggest twin problems would remain. Neither character has anything resembling a motivation to go around killing their neighbors and more damning they have no connection with each other. I have no idea how the jock boyfriend and the Deputy even know each other let alone are intimate enough to go on a secret killing spree together.
Up until that point, the film is fun. It can be brutal and has some scares, but it earns them honestly. The film is well acted with an excellent progressive polish that one does not often see in one's backwoods slasher films. Overall a good movie that hits above its weight let down by a poorly thought out denouement.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown at times can seem very silly, but manages to keep audiences intrigued by the thrills that is has.
A decent/good story that follows up on the original. Not very scary but has some tense moments. The acting is good and the direction is really good, truly giving you the claustrophobia of being hunted in a small town.
It's not the first horror sequel/remake to engage in meta commentary, but it's probably the only one where the original film is unremarkable and mostly forgotten. As a result, the killer's desire here to be remembered takes on a unique significance. Obviously it all falls apart by the end, but the movie is still an oddity worth checking out.
Although it may be unoriginal and has a pretty generic plot which pretty much copies Scream. This newer version of The Town That Dreaded Sundown is way more effective than the original as it is very creepy and doesn't at all rely on jump scares to heavily and when it does use them they are done right. Although the film heavily borrows plot points from Scream it is still an effectively frightening horror using stylish cinematography.
An example of this is during one scene in particular that I found very effective the killer emerges out of the shadows behind a victim and murders them as they are walking along. As I said about the original the design of the killer's mask looks exactly like a ghost making this lurking in the shadows, phantom killer much more frightening than that of the original.
Overall, while this 2014 film may have the same name it is by no means a remake and tells a very different if unoriginal plot. However, what saves this film and makes it great is how well it is constructed to become truely terrifying. I highly recommend this film.
Kinda cool that this movie has its origins in a true story. But kinda got old seeing the Phantom killer go after e'rebody that was hookin' up. Double-sided drive in was cool.
Your standard slasher movie remake with a mild twist of an ending.
i really liked it i find it not too scary and scary so i enjoyed the moments of chill you get
It may seem criminal to say this but, I actually enjoyed this sequel/remake more than the original. Although it is a rip-off of Scream, with it's meta tone and killer reveal this film was much more effective than the original Town That Dreaded Sundown. This is because it ditched the comical interludes and added in more suspense and as a result was much more effective as a horror film overall. Here we have a great example of a good, although criminally underrated horror film, where you care for the character for the most part and is actually scary. I also loved the plot twist at the end, very well done over all.