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The Poughkeepsie Tapes
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Poughkeepsie Tapes More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very creepy and entertaining!

7/10
Author: eddiebrock32 from New York, , United States
22 October 2012

Now this movie I see most complaining about the acting or such but I am a real horror critic and I think this movie had an element of creepiness to it. I like to put myself in the shoes of the people and get a better understanding which is why this freaked me out I mean having someone like that in your neighborhood is very unsettling to me. I am the type that likes documentary based things so this came as quite a good film to me as it depicted a sporadic killer in a believable story. This is something to give a watch just to see a different side of things. If you like realistic things I suggest giving this a watch because although loosely based off of many cases it is true that these people exist in the world that give us these stories to go on.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chilling Pseudo-Documentary is Successful

7/10
Author: Alex Shaffer (ax105)
21 October 2012

Wow, what to say about this film. It is by far one of the better "found footage" movies out there and fits the psychological niche well as well. So, without further ado, I will break it down into a short pros and cons list.

Pros: -Deeply disturbing movie, strikes all the wrong chords is all of the wrong ways. -Has some truly awful scenes that will stick with you long after the credits roll. -Fascinating and believable performances by all involved, especially the killer himself. -Suspension of disbelief is excellent, makes you think that the movie is instructional viewing for FBI, or a dark documentary. -Twisted ending. Truly awful.

Cons: -There is an extremely annoying amount of "VHS tape" effect laid over the video. The found footage is horrifying, but almost annoying and distracting due to the shaking video and scrolling distortion lines. -Not a movie for the passive horror or psychological thriller fan. Has some very intense and awful moments that will deeply affect the uninitiated. -Struggles with pacing in some scenes. -Twisted ending. Truly awful.

Bottom line, do not go into this movie expecting a bland horror film. This is a deeply disturbing movie without a happy ending, and a harsh kick in the teeth. If you are prepared for a different kind of psychological terror, then this is for you. In all honesty, I wish I had watched something happy instead.

Effective film, but not one that I would want to ever watch again. 7/10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Creepy concept

6/10
Author: hedgehogmomma from United States
24 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was interesting because of the way it was made,it is from a murderers pov with first person camera.the victims are very realistic and the attack scenes are creepy.I liked how they cut form the cam footage to interviews with detectives and give more details about what happens,they make it creepy.The woman in the end of the film was very convincing and left me in awe,she was so very traumatized by this evil person after being captured and tortured, she thinks he loves her......and is completely mentally unstable...that one of the most creepy parts of the film.I did not like how much the killer talked while taunting but thats a small complaint.this was a OK film,not the best iv seen but got the job done of being kind scary.the pov of the killer was the best part.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Flawed but still harrowing.

7/10
Author: Jacob Zembower from United States
15 June 2012

As of 2007 this film has yet to be released, even the sibling directors have gone on to do other films (the dreadful REC remake, Quarantine, and the not-horrible Devil.) But it's the film that hasn't been released that is their most effective work.

The main weakness throughout is the acting. Sometimes it's passable, other times it is dreadful. The actors who are in the titular tapes are spot on and raw. When it comes to the talking head interviews, however, things get a little shaky.

Eventually, though, this low budget freak fest finds its footing, and the audience is served a line of tapes featuring ghastly, sometimes all too real, acts of violence, torture, and dismemberment. The directors pull no punches either. They don't cut away right before the blood is shed. We are confronted with brutal and truly rattling sequences of sustained terror.

But it's not all blood and guts, even though for a while it seems that's all this film has to offer. It also deals with the repercussions of abuse and the psychological damage it can cause, all leading to a denouement that is more frightening in it's implications then the gore we have witnessed.

Not for the faint of heart, but if you have the patience, and you stick with it, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is ultimately a highly successful exercise in unadulterated terror. Seriously, though, some of this will singe your imagination and may make you more than a little queasy.

R: contains explicit depictions of sadistic violence, torture and gore, disturbing graphic images, and for sustained frightening sequences.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Creepy and gritty...

7/10
Author: Benji Moss from United Kingdom
8 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...but ultimately pointless.

The film rolls on at a steady pace, mixing fake interviews made with poor actors with 'found footage' which, at times, is completely unwatchable due to film makers going OTT with the 'they were VHS tapes, man!' gimmick.

The highlight of the film and ultimately the saving grace is the killer's interactions and relationship with Cheryl (the chapter that includes a short, creepy interview with her is horror gold).

The film is convincing and horrible but ends without a point and although I do appreciate that the 'endless ending' adds to the horror, it came across more as if the makers simply could not think of a way to wrap it up.

For torture-porn movie fans only, really. Everyone else will walk away just feeling a little uneasy but not take a lot else from the film.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

OK Dowdle Brothers You Win

8/10
Author: Joe Nelson (jnelso19) from Baltimore, Maryland USA
6 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Since the beginning of their film careers, the Dowdle Brothers (Or the Brothers Dowdle, whichever way works for you) seem dedicated to scaring the crap out of people. Granted you can do that with an unexpected nude scene, but it can also be done by making a film out of everyone's comfort zone. They followed the latter and they did it with much success despite the film not seeing any theater time except at a couple of festivals. Now they story of this film goes deeper then the film itself so like every story, we'll start from the beginning.

With The Poughkeepsie Tapes, the Dowdle's decided to go all out with what many could consider a more intense ID Channel special. (Since the spoilers button was pressed might as well use it) It shows some looney bin deciding to kill a crap ton of people with a true lack of prejudice, ranging from children to a couple nice enough to help someone out. What makes it better or disturbing, he films all the murders in one way or another. Now this guy follows all the basic traits of a serial killer, except he has a combination of smarts that mixes well with his insanity. He knows he's being watched, he knows he's being tracked, yet he also knows how not to get caught and how to get what he wants at the same time. Of course with this killer you have to have the FBI following his every trail. This however is where the film falls apart. The FBI people despite their full knowledge of how this guy works, can't even get a glimpse of the guy, even though he shows up to a crime scene of his and taunts one of his victim's family members (For real, how in the hell was he able to leave the scene without being talked to. But we'll let that one slide). The other great part of the killers madness is that he got a police officer killed using our set of rules regarding justice and he used it in ways that no one should be allowed to find out. Yet the paper trail remains and the FBI is so stunned to even follow it. (Spoiler: He used semen from a donor bank to implicate an innocent man, now not knowing how one acquires semen. I'm confident that he would have to sign for something just to show he isn't bottling it up for mass distribution. With that he would have to show ID, and at worst give some more background info. The Dowdle's fail to observe the FBI even looking into it. Something that I would've looked into the instant that kind of info came to mind. The things that some people miss). Despite that major flaw, the film still creeps the hell out of people myself included. It never shows the killers face, scary point 1. The killer sounds normal scary point 2. The killer changed MO's as much as we change Facebook profiles so you never know who he's going to kill, scary point 3. The Dowdle's did their job as filmmakers to get people to always look behind and to not trust anyone.

Now the legend regarding the tapes of course is that it was acquired by the Suge Knight of film companies MGM and for some reason was never released. Now everyone is up at arms regarding this decision but despite my firm belief in the 1st Amendment, this one deserves to be found in rare places (found this on Youtube whoever is interested). Why, much like Fight Club where you don't want to have crazy people getting recipes to kill, you don't want this film to be watched by the wrong person. As to say the least is a How To Guide on how to get away with serial killing and getting it all on tape. Even though MGM never commented on the sudden shutdown, it appears other people seemed to agree that it was too much for the American public. Which in this day and age where shootings are more common then divorce, it's a good thing that it was keep in the dark. Saying that, if this film does get on screen, it should be supported and it'll still make noise for this reason. Despite the first person film perspective being overused, it's still a scary movie and that's rare in days where crappy horror franchises rule.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

You guys are being WAY to critical about this movie

7/10
Author: ApplesPWNStrawberries from United States
27 September 2012

I thought this was a pretty decent movie. It was creepy and the entire time I was on the edge of my seat wondering just HOW they were going to catch someone who's pretty much made a perfect "persona" and perfected his way of killing.

I have to say that I'm annoyed by the amount of people saying that the acting is the worst EVER. I'm sorry, but I've seen SO MUCH worse then this. Have none of you watched a documentary before? I spend a majority of my time watching documentaries (I have NO LIFE, I know). From ones based on pure facts, to conspiracy theories; I've watched quite a handful. And one thing I can say about the "professionals" doing the interviews, they're ALWAYS socially awkward, and wooden on camera. THAT'S why this was so creepy and convincing to me. They're acting is fine. It's the characters they're trying to convey that's "fake". Trust me, watch a few documentaries and see. They trip over their words, they have long awkward pauses--one's where I honestly believe my computer/disk has frozen, laugh when it inappropriate, or just word things a bit strange. They don't know how to react to camera's, and these actors did that quite nicely.

I enjoyed this movie, and I'd watch it again.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not a great movie....But a creepy vibe///

5/10
Author: r_squared311 from United States
19 April 2009

I've been waiting to see this movie for a very long time....after multiple push backs I gave up and found it on the web in wonderful condition.. Overall it's not a ground breaking movie but it has a creepy vibe..The interview scenes are the weak spot but the "actual tapes" are done very well...And since it is set up like a documentary don't expect award winning acting.. It is done by the same guys as Quarantine so it has that same feel..Not as brutal as I thought it would be but again the creepy vibe is there and very enjoyable..Don't really understand why it keeps getting delayed but if you've got an afternoon to waste I say give a whirl!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A failed attempt to shock

3/10
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.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I don't know why but it did.

Author: john-duffy21 from United Kingdom
15 August 2011

Strange one this. I've seen many a "disturbing" film and consider myself to be immune from the effects from such films, however this one was different. By no means is it a good film, it's quite slow and boring in places, the acting is truly awful (apart from the red head) The killer is so diabolically evil, it's stupid (he's bordering on pantomime villain), the violence is over the top and mainly unseen but when it is, it is really bad make up/FX and so unbelievable it made me laugh, also it's a little to long. But something about the sub plot and it's images made me feel very uneasy and stayed with me days after, in fact on the night after watching it alone (my wife refuses to watch "crap like that" as she says) I couldn't sleep until I left the landing light on and did so laughing as knew how stupid it was.

Only watch if you really want to but let me recommend Lake Mungo instead.

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