The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so-called 'moonlight murders' begin again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high school girl, with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching him.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • October 31, 2013. In the small town of Texarkana located on the state line of Arkansas and Texas, the local drive-in theater is hosting the Halloween annual showing of the 1976 film 'The Town That Dreaded Sundown' based on the true story of the Phantom Killer who murdered several people in and around Texarkana in 1946. Corey Holland (Spencer Treat Clark) and Jami Lerner (Addison Timlin) are watching the film. Realizing that she is not enjoying it, they decide to leave. While parked in a secluded area, they begin to talk and kiss, but Jami sees the Phantom Killer in the woods. They decide to leave but the Phantom breaks the window and makes them get out of the car while pointing a gun at them. He makes Corey remove his pants and lie on the ground. He tells Jami to turn around and to not look back. The Phantom begins to slash Corey to death. Jami runs off but is caught when she falls. He tells her, "This is for Mary. Make them remember!" Jami walks back to the drive-in and collapses.

    The next morning, police interview Jami at the hospital before releasing her. Later that night, Jami and her grandmother, Lillian (Veronica Cartwright), watch the news about the attack. Jami asks her grandmother what she remembers from the original attacks. She researches the crimes. The next day, Jami attends Corey Holland's funeral.

    Two days before Thanksgiving, Kendra Collins goes to the airport to meet her boyfriend, Daniel Torrens, returning from the military. They have sex at a motel. He leaves to get snacks from the vending machine. Kendra hears something and looks out the window. The Phantom smashes the window with her boyfriend's severed head. She jumps out of the bathroom window, breaking her leg as she lands. She limps to the car but is killed while trying to start it.

    Meanwhile, Jami receives a phone call from Holland's phone. The Phantom tells her, "I'm going to do it again and again until you make them remember." She decides to tell her police escort, Deputy Foster (Joshua Leonard), about the incident. The next day, residents secure their houses and go to a town meeting.

    Jami goes to the City Hall archives to continue her research. She is helped by Nick (Travis Tope) and they become friends. At the police station, Texas Ranger Lone Wolf Morales (Anthony Anderson) takes over the investigation. While continuing her research at home, Jami receives an e-mail from "Texas Phantom". She takes this to the police and reveals her theories but they are dis-proven. Nick is waiting for Jami when she returns home and he asks her out to the vigil being held for the Phantom victims. While there, the masked Phantom shows up and is shot down by a marine officer. The news is told to the host of a social event and they celebrate.

    Afterwards, band members Johnny and Roy leave the dance and are warned by Deputy Tillman (Gary Cole) to go straight home. They decide, instead, to park at a lonely junkyard. While there, they see the Phantom. Johnny runs from the car. Roy drives off but is hit in the head and crashes. Johnny is beaten and Roy gets tied up. The Phantom recreates the trombone weapon from the original film. Johnny is then shot to death before Roy is stabbed to death. The next day, Deputy Foster tells Lerner that the man that was shot down at the vigil was a suicidal teen dressed up as the Phantom and that there were two more murders.

    Texas Ranger Morales and Chief Deputy Tillman visit Reverend Cartwright (Edward Herrmann) at his church. They discover that he sent Jami the e-mail, but they do not believe he is the Phantom.

    Nick meets up with Jami and tells her that he found out that the son of the late film director Charles B. Pierce (who directed the original film) is still alive and lives in Texarkana.

    Chief Deputy Tillman goes to a bar on Christmas Eve and meets up with a woman. At home, while she is giving him a blowjob, he is shot through the eye by the Phantom who is standing outside the window. She runs into a farm field and is killed by the Phantom.

    Jami and Nick visit Charles Pierce Jr. (Denis O'Hare) where they learn about Hank McCreedy, a sixth victim of the original Phantom whose story was forgotten. He gives his opinion that the new Phantom might be Hank McCreedy's grandson, because the family is angered that McCreedy's death was not remembered. Lerner is told that Hank McCreedy's wife was named Mary.

    That night, Lillian finds out that Jami was accepted to college in California. Lillian decides to move to California so Jami can go to school. She tells Nick she is leaving in the morning and they have sex. Nick walks home and is attacked by the Phantom.

    While driving out of town, Jami pulls into a gas station and walks inside. She soon hears gunshots and finds her grandmother dying by the vehicle. The Phantom is seen shooting from a window in a nearby building. Jami runs down the street and into the old Union train station. The Phantom follows her inside and calls her cell phone to find her. She runs to the train tracks where she finds Nick's body. She is shot down by arrows while trying to escape. While immobile, she is confronted by two Phantom Killers. One is revealed to be Deputy Foster and the other is Holland, Jami Lerner's "dead" boyfriend who faked his death. Deputy Foster reveals that he is McCreedy's grandson. Holland is shot and killed by Foster. While Foster is attacking Jami, she grabs his gun and shoots him.

    In the final scene, Jami moves on with her life and goes to college. In the final shot it is seen that the Phantom's shadow is stalking Jamie down the corridor before the credits roll.

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