The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) – Review

The Town That Dreaded Sundown movie poster

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) Is Remarkably “Blah” And Pointless, Which Is A Pity Considering The Source Material”

While I was a bit dismayed when I first learned that one of the favorite horror films was being remade, I am even more put out to see it turn up on Netflix this evening (which implies that it wasn’t good enough to release in theaters because, while I am a huge fan of Netflix, movies that aren’t in some way associated with them don’t traditionally make it their first stop).

It’s already a bit too meta for my tastes and opens with a couple at a drive-in, watching the original The Town That Dreaded Sundown–someone even wears an eponymously-titled t-shirt, which is a bit like wearing a shirt with James Holmes‘ picture on the anniversary of the Colorado theater shootings.  Sure, you could do it, but it would also be in awfully bad taste–and with some people protesting that a movie based on a true event was being shown again.

And the thing is, you can see their point.

A little later the couple we met earlier are on their way to make out at their local lovers lane–as if they weren’t a few moments prior watching a movie where a couple doing the exact same thing were killed–where they also encounter the killer.

See what I mean about “meta?”

Another thing is that the killer not only talks–unlike the original, where he never says a word–but possesses almost superhuman abilities (He literally beheads a person–a well-built Marine no less–and doesn’t have a drop of blood on him).

And while I have never beheaded anyone, I get the feeling that it’s pretty messy business.

Being elevated to some sort of Jason or Freddie-type killer ignores one pertinent fact:  This is based ON A TRUE STORY!  The Phantom Killer, as he was known, was as real as you or I, and committed a series of heinous murders in Texarcana, and as far as anyone knows, was never caught.

Such a person doesn’t need supernatural abilities because they’re already become the stuff of nightmares, though to turn him into a cartoon does him a disservice

Which reminds me of an interesting idea for a movie!  The actual killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown returns to kill everyone associated with the remake.

Now that’s meta!


The Town That Dreaded Sundown is currently on Netflix.

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