Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Addison Timlin, Anthony Anderson, Gary Cole
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray* (*A Best Buy Exclusive) & DVD (Everywhere)
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
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.
Taking place sixty five years after the events represented in the original film, the town of Texarkana has calmed down and is more itself than it has been in a long time. Nonetheless the brutal murders that occurred so long ago still cast a shadow over this otherwise peaceful town. Every year on Halloween, the teenagers gather at one location or another and view the 1976 film, only the screening on Halloween of 2013 ends in death along with an eerie message from the killer who is reviving the terror this community has barely begun to move past. As more bodies are discovered, it begins to appear that the killer is following a pattern created by the original killer 65 years ago and has selected the young Jami (Timlin) to get his message out and make the town remember its past indiscretions. The only question remaining is whether anyone will be able to stop this modern phantom before he accomplishes his intended task and vanishes into the wind like the previous murderer sixty five years prior.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (director of the recent ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’) directed the 2014 version of ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ from a script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Carrie 2013) and Gomez-Rejon does a phenomenal job at the helm, guiding this terrifying and brutal tale with a real beauty that truly helps this top notch slasher stand out in the best way possible. The film also benefits from a capable cast including Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Joshua Leonard, Gary Cole and a number more, all of whom deliver pretty solid performances in each of their respective roles.
This modern revamp/rehash/sequel (or however you might prefer referring to it) of ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ is downright fantastic. It’s intense, brutal, bloody as well as surprisingly beautiful in the artistic choices utilized, such as the prominent rich and warm colors and the perfectly coordinated jumps between the original film and the current activity. Throw in a cast of capable and (many) recognizable individuals and a refreshingly original take on the story guided almost flawlessly by a talented director and result is the 2014 version of ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ which I can’t possible recommend highly enough, especially to the fellow genre fans out there; you won’t want to miss out on this one.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding, complimented by a more than acceptable bitrate. It delivers a sharp and detailed presentation throughout with the rich, vivid colors so prominently featured in the film looking spectacular; the numerous fast moving and dark sequences also hold up in every way and look magnificent, never causing anything occurring on screen to become distorted or indiscernible in the slightest. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that delivers in every way and shouldn’t disappoint fans of this wonderful modern slasher in the slightest.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack is clean, discrete and highly active, regularly utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with everything from the films wonderful score to any number of creepy and natural auditory elements, as well as hitting surprisingly hard during some of the more intense moments; all the while never causing any dialogue that may be occurring simultaneously to become negatively affected or distorted. Overall, just as with the video presentation, this 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack is fantastic and perfectly complements this incredibly fun film.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’ unfortunately doesn’t contain any extras aside from the films Trailer; the only area of the release lacking.