Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67% (Critics) / 50% (Audience)
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Written By: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Starring: Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Denis O’Hare and Gary Cole
Studio: MGM
Synopsis: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. – (Source)

The Good:
I was totally impressed by the number of well known character actors that were in this movie. The last people I expected to see in a slasher horror movie in 2014 were folks like Cary Cole, Veronica Cartwright and Denis O’Hare.
Addison Tomlin did a fine job as the “girl in peril” that is standard for this type of film.
The Phantom is also a pretty memorable looking villain with the sack over his head.
The direction was also nicely tense and there was a constant feeling of forboding from start to finish using inventive camera angles to immerse the viewer into scenes so that you get the felling that you are actually in the film in certain parts.
I also liked the way the original 1976 THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN footage was threaded into this movie.

The Bad:
The majority of the victims seemed to be killed very haphazardly and there was almost no character development with any of them. A little time building up these doomed characters and maybe showing they had a relationship with the heroine of the film would have served to make me care at all about their brutal murders.
Ia m also not a fan of my slasher horror villain using a gun…guns are for gangsters and action movies, slasher horror villains can use anything short of a fire arm and I am cool with it but guns take me out of the movie.
I am also not sure why, even though this movie was set in 2013, so much of the costuming, set design and even cars looked to be from the 1970s.

The Ugly:
That twist at the end was a shock but it also didn’t seem to be based on anything else that the audience had been show in the rest of the film. It felt like it was tacked on at the last minute which shocks me because the writer of this film, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is a favorite of mine. His take on the Archie comic book characters in horror books have been really good.

Final Verdict:A very stylish horror film thanks to some cool directing and really brutal murder scenes. A really good cast also helps to class the proceedings up and a villain with legs makes me think this could be the start of a franchise for this continuation of the 1976 cult horror film.

Grade: B-

2 thoughts on “Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

  1. I reviewed this one a few days ago and it sounds like you and I agree that it is an effective and credible remake with a few basic flaws. Good review, man.


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