Director – John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil)
Starring – Stacy Chbosky (Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, Cory in the House), Ben Messmer (Gamers, In Justice), and Samantha Robson (Red Dwarf, A Good Year)
Release Date – 2007
Rating – 2/5
Blu Release – 2.5/5
I’ve written more reviews for movies than I care to count. It’s fun and I usually try to write a review a day. I’ve been writing reviews since 2012 in one capacity or another and written for Horror Society since 2013. It’s been a fun experience that has brought a lot of movies in my life that I would have probably skipped over any other time.
One type of horror flick that I see a lot of, especially among the no-budget indie crowd, is the found footage serial killer flicks. I’ve seen so many of this flicks over the years and most are considered extreme horror masterpieces…whatever that means. Honestly, these films are boring as fuck while we follow a faceless killer behind a camera while they torture someone before killing them. Recently, Scream Factory released the quasi-found footage flick The Poughkeepsie Tapes. I knew the basic premise of the film and was curious how it played out. Would it be more of the same or offer up something different? I had to know to reach out to them to review it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a documentary crew as they interview everyone involved with the murders that rocked a small town. The murderer was clever and would often toy with the police or change his murder signature to throw them off. One murder scene sent investigators to an abandoned house where they uncovered thousands of video tapes detailing each and every murder including some that they had not linked to him.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one really excited. Several people whose opinion I respect on genre films told me that it was a fantastic film. Sadly, the film was more of what I had already seen that honestly left me bored.
The acting in this one is very convincing. Most of the dialogue in this one is set up in interview style format like most found footage/mockumentaries. The cast is dedicated to their role and they do a phenomenal job at making the film look like a true documentary. With that being said, the actually scenes that was “found on the video tapes” was almost laughable. The killer was extremely over-dramatic to the point I could imagine him on stage taking part in a poorly written college production. Anytime he would act hostile or aggressive I found myself laughing.
The story for this one is one I have seen so many times by this point. This film may have predated some of the others but because I am just now getting to see this release it is now an old formula. I have seen several found footage flicks that shows serial killers taking lives while recording it.
The most famous of these is the August Underground trilogy. We then have a similar film to this titled Cropsey, The Last Horror Movie, then the Sleaze Box release of The Great American Serial Killer and their original film Amerikan Holokaust. This story is not that original. Sadly, its not that thrilling either. There was several times I had to resist the urge to turn it off so I could take out the trash or do something just as fun. The scenes are painfully slow and the story is very predictable.
Finally, this flick about a serial killer is not that gruesome. A good portion of the good stuff takes place off camera which is disappointing. A found footage flick revolving around a serial killer is the perfect time to scope some gore but this film doesn’t really deliver the red stuff. Overall, The Poughkeepsie Tapes was not for me. The story was predictable and extremely boring. I could see how this would have redeeming qualities if it was the first flick of its kind that I had viewed but it reminded me of too many others. Easily forgettable and difficult to sit through.