Jamie is on a date with her boyfriend when she is attacked by a masked man. Jamie manages to escape with her life, but her boyfriend is brutally murdered. Wondering why she was spared, Jamie starts a personal investigation into the events of sixty five years ago. In a town which is obsessed with the famous killings and the movie they were based on, everyone has a motive. And everyone is a suspect.
The remake (or almost a sequel) of THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (an original cult classic from 1977) is heavily inspired by the Scream franchise. The many movie references, the layout of a film within a film plus the final twist bear undeniable resemblance. But it has its own voice and style.
Placed in modern Texas THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN has colours and fashions straight from the seventies, and it is only sightings of computers and mobile phones that serve a reminder that we are not watching a period piece.
The movie is finely paced with some creepy inventive murders and gore. Addison Timlin as Jamie is a believable "final girl" whose character's strength is borrowed from a childhood tragedy. The killer's motives on the other hand are weak and redundant.
Denis O'Hara is always fun to watch, but he is underused in his little role of a horror affection-ado who is a fan of the killer and the history of the original horror movie (middle-aged Andy from Scream, anyone?) and is helping Jamie to solve the mystery.
The film's locations are carefully chosen, atmospheric and creepy and the final scene of Jamie's showdown with the killer is nail biting.
The new THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN is made on a shoestring budget and is a proof that you do not need mega backs to spawn a decent horror film. Without breaking any new ground, this is one of a few remakes that work and is an hour and a half from horror fan's life that did not go to waste.