IMDb > The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
The Poughkeepsie Tapes
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
The Poughkeepsie Tapes More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 2 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]
Index 81 reviews in total 

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A chilling movie!

Author: deatman9 from Canada
19 October 2012

I watched this movie the other night and I was pleasantly surprised. The acting is was really good from the serial killer it was a very creepy performance. The acting from the rest of the crew was not that good but this movie is definitely worth a watch.

This movie is a found footage mockumentary. So the movie takes off with a bunch of interviews of police and FBI who found hundreds of tapes containing murders and torture.

This movie was actually better then I thought it would be. It was actually really creepy. The bad quality of the camera kind of annoyed me but it was good overall

Was the above review useful to you?

18 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

This movie has a lot more creative juice than I was expecting...

Author: mickeyshamrock from United States
5 May 2008

Based on the trailer for THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES I thought I was going to hate this movie – not because it looked disturbing but because it looked really lame. Truth is – it is a little lame, BUT the movie has a lot more creative juice than I was expecting and ultimately I found myself enjoying it. Similar to J.T. Petty's S&MAN or Remy Belvaux & Andre Bonzel's MAN BITES DOG, THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is a pseudo documentary about a serial killer. While S&MAN and MAN BITES DOG are superior films, THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES excels due to its strict adherence to/understanding of the documentary format. Personally I didn't find the film as disturbing or horrific as I assume it was trying to be, however it did contain enough well thought out moments to convince me that the writer and director had done their horror homework (in particular a very William Castle "esque" sound bite/moment toward the film's finale). 2 little notes: the first 15 minutes are kind of slow so give the movie time AND I don't see this as a "theater" movie (I saw a DVD screener). THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES feels like a small screen movie. Have a few beers and toss it on during a late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Incredibly well written and very disturbing

Author: Seth Clayton from Tobaccoville, North Carolina
4 October 2010

Rather than a cheesy rip off or mindless moronic gorefest this film takes a terrifying concept and gives it a body. The effects are slightly low budget and but very powerful when combined with the psychological effects of the story. Without going into detail, somethings are slightly off and open small holes or just seem pointless altogether. But they are few and far between. "Ed" the Killer is portrayed very well as a psychopath with sociopathic tendencies.

The torture videos themselves are not nearly as disturbing as the underlying theme that someone could actually do this. A real breath of fresh air in a genre that seems to be nothing more than retreads of the same garbage. The blood is minimal and the film relies on the tone to frighten and disturb the viewers. It really is a shame that this film didn't make mainstream.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Viewers Guilt

Author: O H from United States
3 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is scary, definitely, I think it is so scary that a lot of people have to write either really bad reviews or really good reviews as a defense mechanism because it is so scary.

I disagree with the people who are saying that the character Cheryl Dempsey had Stockholm Syndrome. I think it is suggested that the fake-documentary producer is the killer, and that she is being intimidated into saying she cares about him. I think also it is suggested that the viewer of the movie is the killer on a certain level, because in that one scene the interviewer is speaking from off camera, it sounds like he is pressuring her to make some pre-arranged statement.

Maybe there were a couple of low points where the plot was weak or the acting was bad, but it would not be possible to sustain the level of outrage throughout the whole thing. The killer is so evil in some of the scenes that there isn't any way to sustain that kind of awfulness.

I also was upset that we didn't get to see the killer arrested by a butch female cop, or beat to death. If there is a sequel they have to do that. It's a shame for all that built up hate against the killer to go to waste by not killing him off at the end. The movie isn't trying to make a statement about our culture, but there are definitely parallels to what Christopher Columbus and the Confederate plantation owners were doing.

After I watched this, I wanted to go and beat up some slave owners, beat up some serial killers and rapists, and beat up anyone who is involved in domestic violence. The killer is a real evil guy in this movie who breathes heavy like a pervert.

There's some things in horror movies that don't necessarily have to be brilliant, just show the bad guy doing horrible things so that you don't like him. I totally disagree that the girl was supposedly in love with the killer based on Stockholm Syndrome, I think it was just plain intimidation. She keeps saying "what do you want me to say", as if in response to someone off-camera bothering her to say something, she doesn't just come out and say "he loves me" un-prompted.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Most realistic found footage film you have ever seen.

Author: Jesse Boland from Burnaby, BC Canada
17 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you love real truthful films then you need to see this one. There has never been a more realistic found footage film ever. However if you are easily frightened, and have a delicate sensibility, then : Don't ever watch this movie! It is too well produced, and too real. I have not seen it for year, but it still makes me think hard about people to this day. Warning this movie will effect you, and you can not unsee it. I'm not joking though you can not handle this movie. You will be sorry, or you won't. But you will be changed. If you like movies like V.H.S. or the even deeper V.H.S. 2 then you should not miss out on the Poughkeepsie Tapes. Enjoy!

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Deserves a much wider audience

Author: Tysoncarter from United Kingdom
9 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is filmed as a faux-documentary which recounts the story of the 'Water Street Butcher', a serial killer who terrorized a town called Poughkeepsie, NY for over ten years.

I thought The Poughkeepsie Tapes was an above average horror film. We were shown a very methodical killer who very much enjoyed playing games with his victims.

Gore wise most events happen off camera, but by far the most unsettling parts of the movie happen in the killers basement or dungeon. Here we see him tie up his victims, either to pipes or in different positions to get his point across he is in charge.

The film primarily focuses on one victim in particular, a girl called Cheryl. After abducting her and imprisoning her in his basement, the killer seems to develop a special interest in Cheryl and becomes determined to keep her alive as his personal slave. In the beginning this involves just a few words, making her call him master for example. Eventually he takes this further to the extreme of introducing Cheryl to another victim in the dungeon and then he orders Cheryl to kill the new victim.


We even see the killer re-visit Cheryl's home and meet her mother, which results in a traumatic revelation for her mother which I didn't quite buy into 100%. How did she know it was him?? A feeling?? I guess the point of the scene is too show just how twisted this guy is, as he took great delight in meeting the mother.

I like the fact that Cheryl was found alive, albeit in a very bad way. Missing parts of her body and having suffered endless torture, seeing and listening to her interview at the end was so sad, it showed his methods had unfortunately worked and she could no longer live without him. Her suicide was the only way to end it really, it would have been no life for her to carry on as she was.

The negatives are mainly about some of the acting. It is a low budget film, and does look like it due to the nature of the VHS quality of the found footage. The look of the film doesn't detract anything from it, but whilst some actors/actresses were great, Cheryl in particular, some of the cops for instance were a bit wooden. Also the use of a soundtrack in parts over the footage was strange, not sure the killer would have had time to add some mood music but again the good outweighed the bad. With a bigger budget and more studio support this really could have been a horror film that was widely seen and highly regarded in the genre, as it is it tends to divide opinion from the small minority that have seen it. A shame really as the idea and concept deserves much more.

The film was originally released in 2007. When I say released I mean shown off at a few festivals where it received a good reception and great word of mouth and then was strangely pulled from all release schedules. Here we are in 2012 and there has still never been a cinema or DVD/blu ray release of the film. They even put a trailer out before a few other major releases but again it just slipped into oblivion. When I see the state of a lot of horror films in particular that get a big worldwide release and suck big time, it shocks me when a low budget but above average film is just left to rot on a shelf. People need to see this film. On the IMDb forums people still talk about this film regularly. 5 years on from its non-existent release and people have somehow managed to see it and still talk about it. Such a shame that this may never get the wider audience it deserves. At the very least it should be made available on DVD or on-demand video services. If you do get chance to see this, which whilst it may be tough is not impossible (some websites were offering it as a free to watch film if you sign up - that's how I found it) or through some miracle it gets a disk release I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you are into your horror films. I know for sure I have seen much worse and whilst it may not be the gore-fest that some people lust after, it has enough in my opinion to satisfy all horror fan needs.

For more reviews please visit me at

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

And that's being generous.

Author: infraredcentipede from United States
30 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've heard a lot about the Poughkeepsie Tapes. Seen pictures, heard stories, received the general hype. Let me start out by saying I love horror done right. Throw that overproduced saw horse manure out the window, and forget about cheesy slasher flicks, give me something that is going to stick with me for a long time and disturb me in ways I didn't think possible. Having said all that, I was very interested in this movie, and couldn't wait to finally see it, even though I am a bit late.

The Poughkeepsie tapes struck me as an August Underground type film. Much of the movie was seen through the killer's perspective, giving a much needed break from traditional horror films, and this portion was poor quality, giving it an old home movie type feel. These are all good things. However this movie was plagued by bad acting, poor character development, and generally uninteresting plot, making much of it painful to watch. Most of the actors forced their lines, taking away much of the realism I think the film was trying to go for. None of the killings were particularly stunning or gruesome. In fact, I don't remember too much blood or gore at all comparatively speaking. The killer himself was barely developed, other than constantly hearing about how unique and brilliant he was at killing. Most of his tapes were filled with heavy breathing and maybe a few awkward lines that generally made me cringe from how bad they were spoken. Even August Underground, which many people thought was bad, developed the killers in a way that let the audience get to know them. The Poughkeepsie Tapes, however, developed nothing more than a man who takes some of his fetishes too far.

Overall, this movie would have been good for a college film project, but falls short of anything fantastic, or even mildly entertaining.

Was the above review useful to you?

Found Footage at its Best

Author: Damien_Rose from Dayton
2 August 2014

I was first introduced to John Carpenter's "Halloween" at an early age and have been an avid horror fan ever since. 20+ years later, horror films are still a constant among my viewing habits. However, most films in the genre have become predictable, repetitive, and anything but what they are intended to be: scary. The found footage style is especially clichéd, which lowered my expectations for this movie further still. Needless to say, this film absolutely shattered all of these preconceived notions.

"The Poughkeepsie Tapes" is an unrelenting, voyeuristic look into the world of a depraved and very successful serial killer using the "hand cam" and documentary style to an absurdly unsettling degree. The presentation, cinematography, acting, audio, costumes, pacing... essentially every portion of this film is chilling. This film never saw a cinematic release (despite a trailer displayed during "The Mist") and even more baffling, isn't available on DVD. This only adds to the mystique of the film, of course. The degree of realism is uncanny and was achieved without the pretentious "based on a true story" tagline.

Without giving anything away, Stacy Chbosky gives an absolutely haunting performance as victim Cheryl Dempsey despite a small amount of screen time. In fact, everyone from the realtor at the beginning to the authority figures "interviewed" throughout the film are incredibly convincing. Not only is this a must-see for horror fans, this film is a testament to the fact that you do not need "A-list" actors, bloated budgets, or absurd amounts of computerized effects to make a compelling film. "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" is a frightening film experience and will, no doubt, leave a lasting impression on even the most season horror movie veterans.

Was the above review useful to you?

Mixed Bag But Effective, If You Let It Be

Author: FilmFatale from Carnival of Souls-ville
15 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like many people have mentioned before me, I remember seeing this trailer before some major release and being shocked that it was being released to the general public like that. I had been following it a bit on some of the horror websites and was intrigued; I suppose that's why I hadn't forgotten it after all these years. I had some time to kill today and decided to watch it and I was rather pleasantly surprised by it.

Not to say that The Poughkeepsie Tapes is "entertaining" - it's obviously a dark and unpleasant movie, and its structure means that we have no clear resolutions or "victim turning the tables" moment of catharsis to give the audience something to cheer for or even a deep understanding of killer and victims because we've only got those snippets of the tapes from which we get our information. Parts were also incredibly frustrating, especially if you like your stories to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

What worked for me was how there were some very clever parts and the killer was interesting even without the audience getting to really know him or see him. You had to be quiet and follow along with all of the tapes and the talking heads in the interviews or you'd miss some things, and I liked the way I wasn't beaten over the head with plot points. Plus, the scene with the killer entering the room with the "car trouble" lady was one hell of a disturbing image. I get that The Poughkeepsie Tapes won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you can get past its flaws, you might find some worthwhile moments.


Was the above review useful to you?

A failed attempt to shock

Author: lilypad-657-403326
15 January 2014

First, this kind of mockumentaries with interviews never appealed to me. Second, this particular one is just absurd. I can't really imagine FBI agents casually revealing such information or the evidence the tapes are supposed to be. Third, what was supposed to be shocking and uncomfortable to watch, turned out to be just poorly made, sometimes even funny (in the ridiculous way). The quality of the recordings, intentionally bad, is actually SO bad that I don't think any serial killer with a serious approach would agree for such a shortcoming in his masterplan. After all we're supposed to get an impression that this murderer is like nothing the FBI has ever seen before, aren't we? Well, as much as I wanted to be crept out, I'm just slightly disgusted. Of course, the movie is kind of disturbing, but it's the same feeling you'd get while doing some reading on any actual serial killer. Heck, you'd be probably feeling much worse since the Poughkeepsie killer is fictional. Others are not.

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 2 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
External reviews Parents Guide Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history