DVD Review: ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’

It has been nearly 65 years since a masked serial killer raised a bit of hell in Texarkana, Texas in the so-called ‘Moonlight Murders’. While at an annual drive-in showing of a classic film about the incident Jami (Addison Timlin) and her boyfriend are attacked by someone following the same MO as the classic killer. It soon becomes evident that the terror that began over half a century ago is not yet over. Suddenly it looks like it will be up to Jami to stop this horrific killer.

‘The Town that Dreaded Sundown’ is a pretty generic slasher film once you get over all its filmmaking bells and whistles. The filmmakers have made something of a hybrid reboot/remake/sequel (Requel?) of the original film of the same name. It doesn’t’ replace the original, but instead it builds on its lore and is supplemented by its predecessor. The film does a fantastic job blurring the lines between the actual historical murders, the original movie, and this new fictional tale. It is an interesting blend of true life and fiction; something that few slasher films are able to do well.

One odd aspect about the film is that everything seems to be portrayed in an odd retro fashion. Both the film and the atmosphere reek of the 70’s. This would be great if the new portion of the film wasn’t supposed to take place in 2013. The atmosphere this dated feel creates is interesting, but it probably does not have the effect that filmmakers intended.

‘The Town that Dreaded Sundown’ is an entertaining watch (probably a one and done thing though), if only to watch the way that the filmmakers weaved the new story on top of both history and the previous film about the subject matter. Despite having an interesting set-up the film falls victim to the pitfall of most modern slasher flicks: it is generic and predictable.

The film will also be available on Blu-ray exclusively at Best Buy on July 7th.

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