The Town That Dreaded Sundown remake has landed its first cast member in Addison Timlin (Zero Hour, Californication), Deadline reported on Wednesday.
According to the website, Timlin will play the lead in an update to the 1976 classic.
The new version will be set in modern day Texarkana, Arkansas (and Texas — it’s a border town), where Timlin’s character survives a Phantom Killer-inspired slaughter and then decides to solve the mystery behind the murderer’s identity.
Timlin’s most recent effort, The Bounceback, was a comedy that released in March, so stepping into the role of Nancy Drew-styled scream queen should be a welcome change of pace.
In 1946 — real world now, everyone — the town of Texarkana was rocked by a string of lovers lane-styled murders by a sack-headed perpetrator. Police were baffled as to the killer’s identity and enlisted the Texas Rangers for help.
For decades, the crimes have remained unsolved, though law enforcement officials eventually centered their investigation on a 29-year-old ne’er-do-well named Youell Swinney, according to “The Crime Library” at TruTV.
In 1976, Arkansas filmmaker Charles B. Pierce shot a documentary-style dramatization, and the film made quite an impression on Ryan Murphy of Glee and American Horror Story.
Murphy has partnered with MGM for the remake, stating, “The movie I was the most freaked out by as a child was this movie that no one ever saw called The Town That Dreaded Sundown. I had just started to babysit my brother, and the ads for that movie would come on and I’d get freaked out.”
For the few of us, who have seen the original film, we can certainly understand Murphy’s reaction.
Think about how creepy Jason Voorhees was in Friday the 13th Part 2, and then insert him into an episode of Cold Case Files on A&E, and you’ll have an idea of what The Town That Dreaded Sundown was like.
(Don’t let the musical instrument fool you. There’s a blade on the end of it.)
While the Pierce film took liberties with the true story — including a surprisingly thrilling climax at a train station — it felt a little too authentic, especially for kids.
We have some hesitation with Murphy’s new take on the material, but American Horror Story is a blast, so this one may be worth checking out.
Murphy’s next directorial effort, The Normal Heart, should release sometime in 2014.
Have you seen The Town That Dreaded Sundown? In case you missed it, check the trailer below. And what do you think about the remake idea?