Horror remakes are pretty inescapable these days and the majority of them are not willing to stray too far away from their source materials.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a remake of the 1976 film of the same name takes a novel, if not a little smug approach to the remake template and makes for a much more interesting viewing experience than you might expect.
Dubbed the first ever ‘meta sequel’ the film takes place in a universe where the previous film exists, in fact the film opens with a group of teenagers watching the film in a drive by cinema.
Like the original the film based in Texarkana where every year locals gather to watch the original film to remember the events that inspired it- an horrific killing spree which saw many locals murdered. This year however the killer has returned and is recreating the killings from the original killings in order to make the Towns folk remember.
Jami, a lonely high school girl is saved by the murderer and told to let the locals know that they must all remember what happened. Is this new killer the same one from 40 years previous? Or is it a copy cat killer trying to make a name for themselves by exploited the town’s troubled past?
The central questions of the film do tend to become a bit Scooby Doo-esque as the film carries on but thankfully the film is all tightly fitted into an 84 minute run time, meaning that whilst it may get a little silly it flies by at an entertaining enough pace.
The film’s ‘meta’ approach may sound a little self indulgent and at times it is but it does provide the film with a nostalgic edge and the films distinctly grungey feel sets it aside from being just another horror remake.
Verdict: A great exercise in nostalgia, that whizzes by at an efficient pace and remains entertaining despite some notable flaws.