The Town That Dreaded Sundown has a title that you simply can’t ignore, as horror films go it has a lot of magnetism from this alone.
Set in the 1940s after the second World War had ended, a small town near Texas called Texicana (original I know) is terrorised by a mysterious man praying on couples on the perfectly dubbed lovers lanes.
The setup is similiar to the beginning of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a voice over guides us through, what turns out to be the entire film much like a documentary on this supposed ‘true story’.
The narrative itself seems like an early version of the actual real life ‘Zodiac’ killer, but whereas the Zodiac film which was released in 2007 had a sinister edge, this film lacks the pacing to match it.
The premise is very clever, as the ‘phantom killer’ as he is dubbed, crimes escalate from attacks to murders which become almost ritualistic.
The film though has long pauses in-between its action scenes which although at times very unnerving, lack a sinister theme which would have amped them up to another level. The killer himself is brutal and animalistic, wearing a bag over his head to cover his identity. As many people who watched it will know, it was this look which inspired ‘baghead’ Jason for Friday the 13th Part 2.
Conclusively The Town That Dreaded Sundown, is a decent enough watch, but you do wish with some of the concepts in the play, for a little bit more.