The Town That Dreaded Sundown – USA, 2014

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The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a 2014 American horror feature film remake/reboot/sequel of Charles B. Pierce’s 1976 film of the same name produced by Blumhouse in conjunction with resurrected Orion Pictures.

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Directed by first-timer Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (screenwriter of Carrie, 2013), the film picks up sixty-five years after a masked serial killer terrorised the small town of Texarkana, when the “moonlight murders” begin again. Produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, The Town That Dreaded Sundown stars Addison Timlin, Gary Cole and Spencer Treat Clark.

Reviews:

‘Irreverent but fully conversant with the slasher rulebook, the 2015 Town somehow manages to be scary, gory and funny. The filmmakers not only know their genre, they love it. Timlin is charismatic, and familiar faces Gary Cole (American Gothic), Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) and Veronica Cartwright (Alien) provide solid support. It’s too late to reinvent this wheel but there’s no denying Gomez-Rejon’s given it one hell of a spin.’ Matt Glasby, Total Film

‘It’s an odd, if somewhat original, way of playing with sequel conventions: the plot exists in a reality where the original film also exists. But outside of knowing winks, this is cookie cutter carnage.’ Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

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‘Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa … gets in another dig at bigoted Christian-worshipping small-town America, where ‘Everyone has got some kind of blood on their hands’. And this is nicely visualised in the retro 1970s-influenced art direction, where the seemingly deserted town, always shot at or after sunset, looks like it’s stuck in a time warp (just like those bigots). If there’s one downside, however, it’s the big reveal…’ Peter Fuller, Kultguy’s Keep

‘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.’ Tom Huddleston, Time Out

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Limited edition UK poster by Graham Humphreys

‘There’s a Scooby-Doo quality to the denouement that’s particularly unpersuasive, but the film misses a chance to turn that lack of persuasiveness into an ironic virtue, in the style of Wes Craven’s Scream films and Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods. The result is a film that bounds towards the cult appeal of those self-reflexive horror classics, but agonisingly doesn’t quite stick the landing.’ Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

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