The Town That Dreaded Sundown is an upcoming American horror film meta-remake of the 1976 film of the same name. It was to be made "low-budget" to keep the same cinéma vérité as Charles B. Pierce's film.The film is produced by Ryan Murphy of Ryan Murphy Productions (Glee, Nip/Tuck, American Horror Story) and Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity,Insidious) for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). The film is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon in his feature-length directorial debut, and is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. This is one of the last films of Ed Lauter before he died in October 2013.
The film however was raised to a higher budget for the term of the end confrontation and practical effects og blood and gore used in the film, as well prosphetics for the killer.
The film was a theatrical success hitting #1 at the Box Office grossing double it's budget and earning praise from critics and audiences, being cited as one of few horror remakes which outdo the original.
The film boasts an ensemble cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Shannon, Meredith Monroe, Marlon Wayans, Addison Timlin, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Tyler Posey, Hayley Kiyoko, Jamie Blackley, Zac Efron, Thomas Mann, AJ Michalka, Daniel Curtis Lee, Ed Lauter, Veronica Cartwright and Joseph D. Reitman.
The film was awarded with many award nominations and wins, including a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Horror./Thriller film (losing out to Hollywood Bablyon).
The film begins in the small rural Texan community of Texarkana where the town is preparing the annual Texarkana Town festival in 1975.
A group of youths led by dominating local jock Russell Underwood (Theo James) and his girlfriend Rita Sampson (Jaimie Alexander) are tasked with being the chair organisers for this year's festival despite their wishes for that fateful evening,
What follows after their high school graduation ceremony is the preparation for that night and preparations for the festival as well as youth Porter Blank (Christopher Egan) a troublemaking town teenage prankster and his bestfriend aspiring filmmaker Nixon Fischell (Luke Grimes) at Blank's house as his parents will be away all night following the town festival.
That day as sundown begins to occur organiser youth Jessica Everett (Melonie Diaz) is murdered at her house after her parents depart for the festival early and she stays to get things in order for the later night festivities and the party.
Jessica has a letter written for crush and fellow organiser James Hustle (Chris Lowell) their former school's popular Varsity Jock, a letter set aside made up photo collages from a time when they dated.
She suddenly receives strange knocks at the door and through the mail slot begins to have a dozen letters deposited into the house which read threatening messages in relation to her and the other organising Texarkana seniors planning the town festival.
Jess walks through the house after arming herself with her father's shotgun from his gun cabinet and after seeing a masked figure walking across her backyard and the perimiter of the house rushes to the phone and dials the police.
She struggles to get in touch with the authorities being only to be patched through to young Deputy Lionel Underwood (Wilson Bethel) whom she reports an intruder to whom is hovering around her property.
Upon informing she is armed and has all the doors locked he tells her to sit tight as he and two other officers will be along shortly to hers to ward off the joker who has taken to stalking around her property.
After the phone call ends and Jess attempts to calm herself down more letters pour in through the mail slot and loud bangs and crashes sound throughout the house.
Jess calls out threatening that the police are on their way and proceeds into the living room where in through a window a large rock is spiralled into the house with an attached letter saying her named, D.O.B. and D.O.D.
Jess freaks out and runs back to the house phone still armed with her father's double barreled shotgun but as she begins to dial 911 the second time she sees in her father's study a wave of scattered snapshots.
Further inspection of the photos to Jess' horror reveals to her that they are all of her being followed by the masked man from outside and after this she quickly redials 911 only to find the phone disconnected and that the masked stalker has broken into the house.
Jess attempts to proceed from the hallway to the front door and abandon the house but as she slowly moves forward with the shotgun armed in hand she is quickly advanced by the masked man who struggles violently with Jess placing a plastic bag over her head with rope knotted around.
Jess struggles into the living room and after being toppled over the main living room couch struggles to her feet with the armed shotgun and prepares to take fire at the masked attacker.
He however rushes forward and seizes hold of right arm brandishing the gun and upon crippling it and directs the shotgun towards her head.
The masked man then speaks in a creepy deep, hoarse voice referencing the Sergio Leone film For A Few Dollars More before in a quick flash ramming the shotgun halfway into Jess' mouth and then pulling the trigger, splattering her blood and brains all over a living room table positioned behind her.
Deputy Underwood arriving in the drive-way of the Everett residence overhears the shot along with two accompanying Deputies Warwick and Davis who attempt to calm several ready to depart for the festival.
Deputy Underwood proceeds inside but only finds the messed up study of Mr. Everett and the messed up living room where Mr. Everett's double barreled shotgun is present along with a broken window, rock, swarm of letters and snapshots and a large quantity of blood.
Deputy Underwood then immediately patches in for the Sheriff Deacon who is standing watch over the festival as it sets up so as to report the probable murder of his brother Russell's friend Jessica Everett. As night falls and the festival begins Russell is travelling along with girlfriend Rita and also fellow festival organiser and Rita's bestfriend Sara Castello (Helena Mattson). Yoko Fashimiti (Chiaki Kuriyama) the asian schoolgirl academic organiser for the festival finds herself at a dilemma after an argument with her mother as she cannot secure a lift to the festival.
Yoko wanders up her street and down a woods overpass preparing to hitch hike with a vehicle passing on its' way to the festival.
Yoko eventually receives a lift as it begins to pour down by a masked man of whom she doesn't take much suspicion to considering that tonight being the Texarkana festival night a lot of townspeople and in particular graduating seniors will be donning strange masks and or costumes.
She attempts to make conversation with the masked man but finds the keys to her car which had gone missing leaving her with the only left option of hitching a ride to the festival next to the driver's stick in the truck.
Yoko attempts to open up her passenger seat door and release herself but finds it to have been locked by the Masked Driver who then proceeds to proceeds to in a violent, sudden frenzy slash at the right side of Yoko's neck with her stolen car keys and then render her partially unconscious by slamming her head twice into the dashboard whilst accelerating onwards down the forest overpass.
Russell, Rita and Sara travelling along in Russell's prized cadillac to be shown off tonight at the festival discuss the Graduation party at Blanks' place when they see coming headlights as Sara lights up a joint.
Russell brings up the idea the guys came up with of pulling off the best senior year prank in Texarkana history which is to pay homage to all the best B-Grade Grindhouse flicks that use to play over at the old Aztec Theatre on 39th Street.
They eventually come to stop upon Russell swerving cause of blaring headlights.
He flashes the car and the vehicle slowly makes a turn and go for their set location on the side of the road.
From there the Masked Man emerges from the truck covered in Yoko's blood and toting a javellin with engraved initials of Russell Underwood confirming it to be a Varsity Sport javellin of his.
After attempting to talk to the Masked Man about his reckless driving and asking about the javellin he has in his hand the javellin is then spiralled towards him as he rushes back to the cadillac and the javellin comes to pierce through the car windscreen and into Russell's side.
Rita screams and pulls in a profusely bleeding, fatally injured Russell.
Sara screams as well as the two try to tend to his wounds and Sara looking overhead at the Masked Man's truck sees as the man dies down the headlights the partially unconscious bloody figure of Yoko.
Sara screams out and Rita lunges for the glove compartment and withdraws Russell's concealed revolver.
She loads the pistol and then quickly pulls out of the cadillac and walks towards the Masked Man who comes from the truck at a quick pace back towards the group.
She proceeds to fire multiple shots, many of which land succesfully into the Masked Maniac's chest causing blood to spurt out and the man to eventually collapse.
As Rita approaches the believed to be dead attacker ready to fire the sixth and final bullet of the revolver into his head she is distracted by both a regaining consciousness Yoko and screaming Sara who is beeping the cadillac car horn as Russell appears to be bleeding to death.
In the brief moment of distraction before Rita can turn back and fire her final shot the Masked Maniac springs upward and with a clasped rock from the road breaks her left leg rendering her to the ground.
The maniac then strikes the on her knees Rita in the face with the large pulled forth rock and then as she topples sideways into a puddle performs coup de grace on her with the large rock which he smashes back and forth repeatedly into her face killing her.
At this as Yoko and Sara at opposite road ends scream on in terror Russell finally succumbs to blood loss in Sara's arms in the cadillac and dies.
The killer then finishes Yoko who is stuck bound in the wrecked truck of his by torn seatbelts as he pulls forth from his jacket a wine bottle and rag and produces a molotov cocktail lit by the flame of Yoko's lighter and she is set ablaze along with the truck as he spirals it onto the bonnet.
Sara then flees the cadillac and rushes off into the woods away from the scene.
She eventually reaches the Texarkana Town Festival passing gthrough a crowd of drunken senior graduates until she reaches Deputy Underwood whom she struggles to tell overwhelmed with shock about the murder of his brother.
From there deputies gather round Sara after she relays what happened and Deputy Underwood along with a skeptical Sheriff Deacon go looking for the other town festival organising youths: including director Wilson Rottler (Lee Thompson Young) whom along with Fischell are murdered via a set trap by the Masked Killer involving a sudden flood of showground storage water and a short circuited electric wire.
- Joaquin Phoenix as Deputy Nathaniel Watcliffe
- Michael Shannon as Deputy Rhys Beckett
- Meredith Monroe as Deputy Amelia Castello
- Marlon Wayans as Deputy Finch Throttle
- Ed Lauter as Sheriff Lionel Underwood
- Addison Timlin as Jami Castello
- Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Trent Frewer
- Tyler Posey as Douglas Sampson
- Hayley Kiyoko as Yuki Fashimiti
- Jamie Blackley as Gordon Hustle
- Zac Efron as Jumper Everett
- Daniel Curtis Lee as Dion Rottler
- Thomas Mann as Toby Fischell
- AJ Michalka as Lara Underwood
- Veronica Cartwright as Juliet Castello
- Joseph D. Reitman as Porter Blank
- Peter Firth as Mayor Garth Sampson
- Lynn Whitfield as Vanessa Rottler
- Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Gavin Rottler
- Aleisha Allen as Courtney-Ann Rottler
- Larry Miller as Postman Pete Yorstick
- Gil Birmingham as Johnson Frewer
- Tracy Scoggins as Whitney Frewer
- Mary-Charles Jones as Rebecca Frewer
- Leilah de Meza as Channing Frewer
- Theo James as Russell Underwood
- Jaimie Alexander as Rita Sampson
- Jeremy Jordan as Walt Frewer
- Chris Lowell as James Hustle
- Helena Mattson as Sara Castello
- Luke Grimes as Nixon Fischell
- Chiaki Kuriyama as Yoko Fashmiti
- Lee Thompson Young as Wilson Rottler
- Melonie Diaz as Jessica Everett
- Christopher Egan as Porter Blank - Age 18
- Wilson Bethel as Deputy Lionel Underwood - Age 22
- Aviva Baumann as Juliet Castello - Age 18
- Mickey Sumner as Gabrielle Castello - Age 18
- Ben Hollingsworth as Beck Ettsyhr