Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2104 Review

It could be argued that this sequel to the 1976 classic is unnecessary. As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't even argue with you. Still, I'm a sucker for a guy in a mask, and the Phantom just has one of those looks that I can't help but love. You throw that hood on a guy in a generic slasher every year, and I'll be there every single time. As a fan of the original, I went into the new one with absolutely no expectations, as a matter of fact, I puropsely skipped anything other than the teaser trailer. I wanted to go into this thing as open minded as possible.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown takes place 65 years after the events of the first movie, in Texarkana, Texas. The "moonlight murders" begin again, on a night when the town is having it's annual showing of the 1976 film about the original killer. For a town that's done it's best to move on from the horrific events surrounding the original Phantom, this serves as a brutal reminder of the horror that took place way back in 1946.

This is exactly what you'd expect from a modern version of The Town that Dreaded Sundown. The Phantom in the 1976 film is a killer, yes, but that movie is tame in comparison to this modern version. The Phantom in 2014 has more in common with Ghostface from the Scream series than he does his original counterpart. The kills in this movie are absolutely brutal. I don't know why, but I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of the original, and this definitely isn't your granfather's Sundown. It's been a day since I watched it, and I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about that aspect. On the one hand, I'm all for a fun, new, violent slasher movie to watch, but on the other, I love the old movie, and this one just feels so different that it feels like something completely new that borrows from a classic just for it's namesake.

My fence-riding aside, this really is a fun slasher flick. I enjoyed the kills, there's plenty of brutality and blood, the obligatory bit of nudity, and a badass looking masked killer wreaking havoc. The other thing it has going for it, for me at least, is the screenplay was written by comic writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who you might recognize from this latest "Afterlife With Archie" which puts the Riverdale gang smack in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. That comic is just pure fun, and when I read that he was writing a sequel to Sundown, I hoped he'd bring that same fun to the movie. Aside from the slightly disappointing reveal at the end, I felt like he succeeded in penning a modern sequel to a classic story, whose only flaw in my mind is that it's a bit too modern. As to whether that's a fair criticism, I'll let you decide.

If you liked the original, and don't mind a lot of modern slasher tropes being interjected, you just might come away enjoying this one. If you've never seen the original, and enjoy a good slasher, then by all means give The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014 a look. Personally, I'm still undecided, but plan to revisit the film again when I add it to my collection.

No comments: