Have you seen the original version of The Town That Dreaded Sundown
? It pretty much hit the sweet spot of Southern horror / low-budget "truthfulness," as director Charles B. Pierce gave the material a faux-documentary look and appeal that helped distinguish it back in 1976, telling the supposedly true story of a serial killer who stalked lover's lanes in 1946 Arkansas.
Even though I'm a huge fan of 1970s cinema, I have to admit that the original is showing its age; the tone veers all over the place, for one thing. That made it ripe for a thoughtful remake and -- surprise! -- that's what it got last year, courtesy of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Our own Andrew Mack saw it at the Toronto After Dark fest and had this to say (in part) about the director:
"The Town That Dreaded Sundown is stylish as hell. He makes every effort to make his flick a pleasure to look when you are not turning your head away or closing your eyes during the kill scenes. From his opening crane shot up and over the drive-in screen he injects much style and flare into it. Few slasher flicks can claim that they look this good on screen. His work with Michael Goi, director of photography on American Horror Story: Freak Show elevates the visual standards of slasher flicks."
He concluded: "This is a terrific and bloody debut for Gomez-Rejon." I agree. The director went on to make Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which recently released in the U.S. to general acclaim and is a very different movie, as you may have heard, but his debut is certainly worth checking out. The terrific cast includes Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Gary Cole, Joshua Leonard, and the late great Edward Herrmann. The Town That Dreaded Sundown will be out on DVD and Blu-ray (exclusively at Best Buy) next week on Tuesday, July 7.
To further whet your appetite, we have an exclusive clip that hints at the mood and atmosphere of the piece. You can watch it below.
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