Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Town That Dreaded Sundown – Damn You, Leonard!

Runtime: 86 minutes
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Rating: R
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Jami and Corey are two hot kids at the local drive-in to see The Town That Dreaded Sundown, which in a meta twist was based on an actual series of murders that happened in their town. After making it clear that she isn't into horror movies, he drives her out to the old lovers lane. Before they can get too far into it, a man in a sack mask who looks just like the original killer, shows up. He drags them both out of the car, makes Jami turn away, and kills Corey. She runs into the woods, and while he finds her, he lets her go after giving her a warning to pass on.

A few days pass before the killer strikes again. It's just enough time for Corey's funeral and for her grandmother to deny that she remembers the original murders. It's also enough time for Jami to start her own investigation. The killer next targets a young woman and her military boyfriend home on leave. After decapitating the boyfriend and slamming his head against the hotel room window, he chases her outside and brutally kills her in her own car. The killer continues on his spree all the while coming back to urge Jami to make others remember what happened in the past.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a movie that I actually enjoyed. I love that they did the meta thing. Not only do they set it up that this was the town where the original was filmed, but they also keep showing scenes from the original and harkening back to the original. I think I squealed when the killer brought out the trombone for one scene, but the friends I watched it with had no clue what was going on. I also liked seeing Dennis O'Hare. He's been so good in the past seasons of American Horror Story, especially the first season, that I loved seeing him here. He plays the son of the original director and is just the perfect character. He's a little strange, suspicious, and kind of loveable all at the same time.

Speaking of people I loved seeing, this movie was a who is who. Addison Timlin, who was so great as Stormy in Odd Thomas, plays Jami. Gary Cole pops up as the chief of the small town police department and has one of the most memorable scenes in the entire film. I don't want to give it away, but something a little unusual happens while he's getting a blow job. Edward Herrmann, who I admittedly only know as the grandfather on Gilmore Girls, turns up as the local pastor who thinks the killer came back because the town is full of sin. We even get Anthony Anderson as a Texas Ranger who rolls into town to solve the mystery. Did I mention Josh Leonard from The Blair Witch Project is in it too? It's nice to see him in a horror movie rather than that piece of crap If I Stay I was forced to sit through a few months ago.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is my favorite horror movie of the month and maybe the last few months. The acting was good, and it had some great death scenes too. There's the two young gay men who get attacked before they get to their good stuff, a body left chopped into pieces on the railroad tracks, and a poor little old lady stabbed/slashed in the throat. What more could you ask for?

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