Inspired by horrific real-life events, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's horror remake The Town that Dreaded Sundown tells the tale of a masked serial killer who returns to terrorize a small Texas town 65 years after vanishing without a trace. As the authorities race to make a connection between the shocking previous events and the current rash of killings, a withdrawn teenage girl may hold the one clue that could stop the killing.~Jason Buchanan
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) Blu-ray Revie
Release Date: July 7, 2015 (Best Buy Exclusive until Sept 8th)
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:26:24
Audio: English and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks
Video: 1080P (2.40:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SDH
65 years after a series of brutal slayings terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the “Moonlight Murders” suddenly begin again. While on a trip to Lovers’ Lane, 17-year-old Jami (Addison Timlin) watches as her date is brutally slain by a masked serial killer. Barely escaping with her life, she becomes obsessed with finding the man referred to as "The Phantom." As the body count climbs and the carnage comes closer, Jami delves deeper into the mystery, following clues that point her toward the killer’s true identity.
I have seen this film referred to as a remake, reboot, sequel and meta-sequel by various people and websites. I think of it as a sequel or maybe those that say meta-sequel are right. Who knows. This film is very different from its predecessor in that this is more of a straight up slasher. The kills are violent, bloody and most definitely mean spirited... which I loved! The one thing this doesn't quite have that the previous film had, is the creepiness. The 1976 movie with its documentary style shooting was downright eerie at times. But I'm not complaining because the two films are a nice contrast with each offering something different.
The film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (American Horror Story) and stars Addison Timlin (Californication, Odd Thomas), Anthony Anderson (Black-ish, The Shield), Gary Cole (Office Space), Edward Herrman (The Lost Boys), Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project), Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story, True Blood), and Veronica Cartwright (Alien. Invasion of the Body Snatchers - 1978)
The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track did a fine job with a good balance of sound effects and dialogue. I did not notice any issues with the sound. There are also English SDH subtitles available.
"The Town That Dreaded Sundown" (2014) comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Image Entertainment with a 1080p transfer and 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio. PLEASE NOTE that the following negative aspects I mention are also present in the version playing on Netflix. So I can only surmise that they are a result of how this was filmed. In well lit scenes the image looks good and at times has very good fine detail. However in darker scenes, which is most of the film, the image tends to be a bit soft, with less detail. It's to be expected to see more detail in brighter shots but it seemed like a significant difference. My biggest complaint is the halo and bright glowing effect of many of the lights in the film. I found them to be distracting and very displeasing in some scenes. Below are two examples. Both pictures are from Netflix where the same issue exists (I do not have a BD drive in my computer to take screenshots of the Blu-ray).
Anyhow, in the grand scheme of things, it's a minor annoyance as most of the film is fairly dark or at least does not have such odd lighting effects. Again... this was found on the Netflix version as well so I do not hold the Blu-ray at fault here.
Sadly, only a trailer is to be found on the disc. The disc does at least have a Chapter Selection Screen. But that is all.
The Blu-ray may be underwhelming as far as special features are concerned but I believe its low price makes up for it. I enjoyed the film and think slasher fans will as well. If slashers aren't your thing you may enjoy the 1976 film instead but should still give this one a chance. The Best Buy exclusive only contains a Blu-ray disc, no DVD, in case you were wondering. It did come with a slipcover for those interested.
OVERALL RATING: 3/5
As a huge fan of the original, I was pretty skeptical about this film. I figured it was simply another re-make where the gore and nudity would be amped up, but nothing of interest added to the story. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, which isn't a remake at all, and while the gore and nudity are amped up, the story presented is pretty strong and interesting.
As the film opens, the town of Texarkana is celebrating Halloween with the annual showing of the Charles B. Pierce film "The Town that Dreaded Sundown", a schlocky 1970's horror film which showcased the murders of the Phantom, a hooded killer that stalked the town's lovers lane, and seemingly disappeared. Two teens decide to leave the drive-in and make the mistake of heading straight to the local lovers' lane, where the are immediately attacked by a hooded figure. It seems the a new Phantom Killer is back in Texarkana to carry on the killing spree.
I like that the filmmakers built on the Phantom Killer legacy, and treated the original film with respect. They didn't sacrifice suspense for all out gore either, as there are several tense scenes throughout the film. The supporting cast is great; Ed Lauter. Veronica Cartwright, Gary Cole and the late Edward Hermann.
The only thing keeping me from giving this film 5 stars is the incredibly stupid ending. The final 10 minutes almost derail the entire film with it's "Urban Legend" like over-explanation. I was so irritated at the ending, I almost knocked this down to a 2 star review...but the preceding 80 minutes were just too good. So I will strongly urge viewers to watch and enjoy....but be prepared for a disappointing ending.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's 2014 TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN is half-remake & half-sequel. It seems that with all the remakes of the last 10 years or so, there are also appearing some prequels & sequels that simply bear the same name as the original. So that's pretty useless. Fortunately, the other one that comes to mind, THE THING, was a very competent, well-told prequel; certainly worth watching (especially if you chase it with John Carpenter's original). The movie in question here is a prequel that sets itself up as based on true events. Like the 70s original. But in this case, the original flick is referenced & the killer is wreaking havoc in present day Texarkana. He seems to be a copycat killer & the original TOWN is constantly being watched & shown. Seems like it might be pretty derivitive, I know. But thanks to fun appearances by genre favorites (Gary Cole, Ed Lauter, Veronica Cartwright, Edward Herrmann) & an entertaining enough mystery plot wherein our "final girl" obsessively attempts to find the identity of the killer, this version of THE THOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN works well enough to be quite fun!
My only complaint is the Scooby-Doo unveling scene, a sort of whimpy element that SCREAM seems to have left as an "important" element to slasher flicks; there's gotta be too much blah-blah-blah explanation from the deranged maniac. Know one cares.
Overall not a bad movie, but with that said not a great movie either. I definitely suggest checking out the original Town That Dreaded Sun Down considering it in my opinion is a classic. With that said this reboot, remake whatever you want to call it actually surprised me. I was a bit skeptical when it was first announced because they made it like it could be the original killer, but if you do the math the dude would be WAY to old! After watching it I think they put an interesting spin on the story and made a decent movie. So for those looking for a different spin on the original or a fan of horror suspense I would say give this one a shot.
This film is extremely underrated. This is a really fun and sadistic slasher film that really carries that old school feel. Not a remake and not exactly a sequel, this film is pretty unique in its connection to the original, and that in itself makes it worth the view. The Blu-Ray is top notch, with a really nice picture presentation, and the audio has some great surrounds. I think you'll agree this is a great buy!
The original movie is kind of a revolutionary one in horror/slasher history, and it's pretty good. This remake is also pretty good. I think as far as remakes go, it goes about it in a really creative and interesting way. I think both the original and this remake are each worth about a 7/10. The blu-ray has good picture quality and sound, but no bonus features.