This reimagining takes great measures to be taken seriously as a meta-work springing forth from the original, and for all intents and purposes does a smashing job. While sometimes taking itself too seriously, and nearly all the reference gags are poorly placed and ill-timed, the moments that do click, click well; there is much to be appreciated if one just scratches the surface. It is a film of layers, some thinner than others it is true, but there is more than enough here to be unpacked in one is willing to The Town that Dreaded Sundown the benefit of the doubt.
A few instances shine forward in their attempts to modernize a handful of the sometimes dated slasher tropes (a homosexual couple is one of the targets), and though they are a little clumsily handled and will not be remembered the effort is more than a welcome change to the standard fair. Far too many obvious winks (such as a loudly proclaimed reference to Sparkplug that is wholly unnecessary) are shoved in like a square peg to a round hole,
There is an almost overwhelming level of stylistic visual choices throughout. It can become overbearing and is indulgent and redundant more often than not, but there is at least an attention to detail rarely seen, especially in an unknown director (gaining notoriety for his recent Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) that does not seem to have a focus in the genre.
Still living in a post-Scream-and-Saw meta-commentary world where the reverberations are still felt, it is nice to see someone try and do something different, even if the effort is not fully actualized (and an ending that tears pages out of its predecessors’ books without even trying to cover its tracks).