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