THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (2015)
This is a nippy, stylish and queerly nostalgic slasher flick. The usual red-herrings, small town paranoia and iconic chase sequences so adored of the 80s genre hits are bashfully indulged here. Where the film departs from its 80s predecessors is in brutality, in line with the demands of modern horror audiences. The murder scenes are graphic and well-choreographed, showcasing a talent for modest splatter along the lines of Argento’s visual cannon.
The putrid hypocrisy and hedonistic underbelly of Texarkana are the main themes here and these are issues many a horror fan is familiar with. But the way the film-makers incorporate Charles B Pierce’s 1976 cult original is quite ingenius – and in the end not too dissimilar at times to Wes Craven’s own reworking of the freddy myth in NEW NIGHTMARE (1994). This film pitches a take on censorship which is actually quite mature if not particularly subtle, asking deep questions about whether horror movies indeed promote macabre actions amongst the populace. Concurrently, the film proposes underlying non-cinematic drivers of violence that exist amongst even the cosiest of communities as explanation for the murderous rampage in front of our eyes.
Eye-catching cinematography and a strong cast mean that in a sentence, this is the greatest slasher genre triumph since 1996’s SCREAM.
Hotdog rating: 9/10