The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum


The Poughkeepsie Tapes is kind of like a gory, fictionalized episode of one of those Discovery Channel criminal investigation shows about serial killers. We are shown snippets of videotapes a serial killer made before killing his victims. Afterwards, a team of experts analyze the footage and try to offer theories behind the killer’s motives. Detectives, forensic specialists, and even members of the victim’s families are also interviewed.

What makes this thing different than something you’d see on TV is the fact that the tapes are shown in all of their disgustingness with nothing blurred out. Well, that’s not entirely true. Director John Erick Dowdle goes a bit overboard with the post-production distortion in an effort to make the tapes look old and decrepit. By doing so, all he accomplishes is making it harder to see just what the hell is going on. It also doesn’t help that the kills on the tapes are nothing more than your typical shaky-cam Found Footage stuff. None of it works as the overall effect is more depressing than anything.

The stuff with the interviewees is slightly better. It would’ve helped if they found some better actors to sell their “critical analysis”. As it is, the acting is rather uneven. While some are able to convincingly pass themselves off as talking heads, others are painfully obvious phonies right out of Central Casting.

Dowdle went on to direct other insufferable shaky-cam nonsense with the likes of Quarantine and As Above So Below.

Tags: horror, p, shaky-cam bullshit
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