Over the past two decades, the number of horror remakes has grown so large that it can be broken down into different genres within its category — slasher remakes, recreations of Japanese horror films, and so on. Though these films have seen varying levels of success, they can at least be credited with introducing classic characters like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to new generations. Whether or not the remakes improved upon or damaged the original property, however, is left up to the fans.
The next recreation of a cult classic horror film comes from producers Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge: Anarchy) and Ryan Murphy (co-creator of American Horror Story): The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Based on Charles B. Pierce’s 1976 slasher film of the same name, the meta remake will return to the town of Texarkana, Texas.
In the first trailer for The Town That Dreaded Sundown (above) the story picks up in Texarkana 65 years after the original film as the Phantom Killer returns to terrorize the small town. The trailer introduces viewers to Jamie, played by Addison Timlin (That Awkward Moment), who becomes wrapped up in the mystery surrounding the killer and whether it’s the same person who committed the original “Midnight Murders,” a copycat, or something else entirely.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown is the feature-length directorial debut of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who has previously worked with Murphy on both American Horror Story and Glee. The film was penned by screenwriter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Carrie (2013)), who has also worked on Glee in the past.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown sounds like a simple remake of a low-budget slasher flick, but this film might be one that stands out among the rest. The original movie was based on a series of real murders in Texarkana and stayed as true to actual fact as possible; it has since become part of the folklore of the town. With Murphy’s involvement in the film, it seems this remake may stay true to the spirit of the original while updating the story.
Although Murphy — who, according to Blum, spearheaded this remake — has his detractors, he has produced many popular and critically acclaimed projects including American Horror Story and The Normal Heart, both of which took home Emmy Awards this year.
For all his critics, Murphy has found success with weaving established stories or folklore/legends in to new ideas. Hopefully, the producer will be able to break the mold of horror remakes and create something interesting in The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
The Town That Dreaded Sundown premieres in theaters October 16th, 2014.
Source: Blumhouse Productions
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