The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014
Just after the war in the 1940s, in a small town in Arkansas called Texarkana (which lies on the border of Texas and Arkansas) is plagued by a mysterious murderer. No one knows who is killing or the motive. This actually happened and lasted for a short time, like a few months, he attacked several teenagers who hid off road trying to get some hoochie before heading home. Most were brutally murdered, some got away but not clean. Then, poof, the hooded phantom vanished. Possibly he got bored and lived with the residents for the remainder of his life? The film The Town That Dreaded Sundown that was made in 1976 covered this; and I’d say fairly well. It had mystery and unexpected comic relief that may have been too silly at times but it was a perfect off-set to the dread mood and murder scenes that I would say were ahead of its time because, for one, they still hold up to this day.
It’s now 2014 and Hollywood is hungry for some money and realize they haven’t made a sequel/remake to The Town that Dreaded Sundown. Now, this movie is no where near the likes of the original. Part remake, part sequel, basically uses the same name but in the present utilizing the awareness of its predecessor. The townsfolk are still warry of the unsolved past, as of now they have an anniversary showing of the movie and play it at a drive-in. The movie shows short clips of the past film as if it is its own pride and glory. This is cool at first but I felt it was kind of a filler. Maybe it was to promote the original? Anyways, I’m here to complain about this dreadful attempt at re-imagining of a forgotten horror gem and how cute Addison Timlin is. Not all will see what kind of movie the original was, it basically started all the slasher flicks. It’s the corner stone, the spine. This ‘sequel’ was just plain unimaginable. It’s as if the writers took the formula from Scream and threw on another title. The police in here, oh man the police! The law enforcement, the big hancho people who need to track the killer down and bring him to justice, were laughable and I could not simply take seriously. For one, I can’t take Anthony Anderson seriously, any drama he’s in I just expect a joke. And I got nada, actually, I don’t remember any comic relief in this. It was all pretty dreary and not in a good way. The movie pace was too fast, I couldn’t feel for any of the characters, zero tension throughout the whole film. I never zeroed in on a character and was like: Don’t Die. Given the original had some pretty creative deaths, although full of tension and dread, it was realistic. Yes, you could tell when something bad was going to happen but the tension IS there. In this present film, the deaths were uncreative, what they did was recreate a couple and had little to no shock value. But then again, horror successfully scares me once in a blue moon, perhaps every couple blue moons if movies like this are going to continue.
Alright, the movie isn’t all bad, I feel I’ve been hitting the Town that Dreaded Sundown a little harsh. Well, the direction by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is a nice save. He had a couple good shots peppered throughout. I can see his name popping up on few more movies. Some of the acting was decent, I especially liked the eye catching Addison Timlin. She is not well known, and apparently is just starting her career. And she will go far. Recently I watched Odd Thomas and she played the girlfriend of Odd; interesting movie with a better twist(check it out on a rainy day). I will most definitely be watching for her in upcoming films. A couple other people you’ll see like the hey-it’s-that-one-guy from Twin Peaks and recently The Judge. The movie did good on messing with your head on the ‘who dunnit’ bit. It swings your perception from one person to the next, is it him? Or him? It also brought in the religious aspect, which I love in horror movies, cause that s*** is scary. There isn’t much dwelling on it, though, but it did have to do with the past, which is pretty much the basis of most, if not all horror.
So, if you have not seen the Town that Dreaded Sundown (2014) you may like it depending on what you look for in a movie. Some other reviewers did, I’m just one who was dissatisfied. I’ll stick to the original, which was cool because I like the documentary feel and the moody murder sequences; really felt like I was solving a mystery. I felt this movie was more for a paycheck than to add on a legacy.