Addison Timlin Joins Ryan Murphy's The Town That Dreaded Sunlight Remake

When a popular young actress lands the lead in a horror remake, the death knell is usually sounding, as popularity is supposed to precede the land of remakes. But this project is a little different. A lot of eyebrows were raised when Ryan Murphy – he of Glee and American Horror Story fame – said he would be producing a modern take on the little-known 1976 flick The Town That Dreaded Sundown, but most of Murphy’s work affects the eyebrows anyway, whether through confusion or frustration or jubilation – mostly all at the same time.

Deadline reports 22-year-old Addison Timlin has signed on for the lead role in the MGM horror effort, making it her second thriller this year, as the Dean Koontz adaptation Odd Thomas will be out in April. She’s also in Bryan Poyser’s recent comedy The Bounceback, and in Fisher Stevens’ star-studded crime comedy Stand Up Guys, with Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken. Somehow I doubt The Town That Dreaded Sundown brings in any of those actors. On the TV side, Timlin was a recurring character on Showtime’s Californication and on the recently cancelled series Zero Hour.

The film will be set in Texarkana, the site of the 1946 “Moonlight Murders,” committed by the never-apprehended Phantom Killer. These murders inspired Charles B. Pierce’s original film, and this modern take supposes there to be an annual tribute screening of his movie, where a copycat killer is reproducing the murders of Sackhead, the villain in the original. Timlin will play a survivor from one of the copycat’s attacks, and she tasks herself with figuring out the mystery behind the murders, going back into her past to look for answers.

Longtime Murphy collaborator Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will be directing this meta update from a screenplay written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacs, who also penned the upcoming Carrie remake. This version of the tale sounds a little like Peter Bogdanovich’s classic Targets, which featured one of the last performances from the legendary Boris Karloff. While this will no doubt be a flashier pic, time will tell if the thrills will remain when the sun goes down.

(Addison Timlin image via s_bukley /

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.