One of the most terrifying horror films of the 70’s (a right unreal time for horror) was the film inspired by true events that occurred in Texarkana, Arkansas, The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976). (Bonus round, another great film if you haven’t seen it). The ’76 film focuses on a Texas ranger hunting down the hooded serial killer terrorizing a small town in 1946.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) is, wait for it, a meta-sequel. It’s 65 years later, and we’re back in Texarkana, a town that has now had a film made about the hooded killer who once terrorized them, and now celebrates the film once a year, a practice often criticized by the townspeople.
People start getting murdered, in manners similar to those depicted in the film, and “Jami” takes to investigating the sinister truth behind what appears to be copy cat murders.
It’s directed by Alfonzo Gomez-Rejon, better known for directing your favourite episodes of American Horror Story (and Glee, but don’t judge him on only that alone). You’ll recognize a lot of the style, and it works so well in this setting.
Aside from being terrifying, with classic nods to 70’s style horror, this film manages to be cohesive in an expanded universe, and makes excellent references to the original film. (If you’ve seen the original, or even if you haven’t, a trombone is your worst nightmare).
It’s scary, it’s cool, it has a fun story, and quirky characters and homages. It manages to pay homage and be film-y enough to call itself a “meta-sequel” and also just be totally excellent to watch.
Great if you liked: Insidious, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes, Hostel, Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Hills Have Eyes, The Collector, House of Wax, The Strangers, You’re Next, American Horror Story (mostly that insane slasher episode from Season 1)