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

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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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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Wow, this movie really shocked me....

1/10
Author: Bas Rade from Netherlands
24 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

That's how bad it is. First movie I ever turned off halfway through. This isn't even remotely scary, as you're watching from the killer's viewpoint at all times. Being scared, for me, means you don't know what the hell is going on until it's too late, and knowing at all times what the killer is doing, I was never disturbed, ever.

It doesn't help that the killer is portrayed as super-meticulous, yet like another reviewer pointed out, it all seems a bit random, like he's lucky to not get caught.

This movie ruined my one movie night of the week, for which I would like to give a middlefinger salute to the people that made this.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Murder is clean in "The Poughkeepsie Tapes".

5/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
13 January 2009

"The Poughkeepsie Tapes"-a faux documentary about the activities of the mixed serial killer from Poughkeepsie called The Waterstreet Butcher garnered tons of hype before its official release.The premise of the film is certainly interesting:the police raids a home of suspect and finds it empty aside from boxes of VHS tapes.On these video cassettes are hundreds of hours of footage recorded by a serial killer as he filmed the abductions,torture,murder and disposal of his victims."The Poughkeepsie Tapes" plays like a tame version of "August Underground" series.The amount of violence and terror is surprisingly minimal.What drags "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" down is truly horrible acting.The interviews with investigators(there is even laughable "dismemberment expert")are terrible as was the archive footage of court proceedings and press conferences.The killer is also ridiculous as he giggles and yells and acts more like a total buffoon."The Poughkeepsie Tapes" is not shocking or disturbing.The torture and murder scenes are usually off-screen and they lack a bite.If you want to see truly horrifying serial killer movie check out Austrian "Angst" from 1983.5 out of 10.

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Could have been truly terrifying...

5/10
Author: Aka_Who from United States
8 January 2009

This type of film is not new or unique however I have yet to see one with this level of detail and creativity put into it. Given a higher budget I think this could have possibly been a truly horrifying experience. As it stands however it is simply too flawed. The handi-cam footage is laughable when it is not annoyingly dark or shaky. The gore is disappointingly tame. The biggest flaw however lays within the acting. To pull off a film like this you must be careful to recruit actors talented enough to nail their part. Sadly too many of them miss their mark which all but kills the documentary feel the creators were going for. I would rate the story/idea a TEN but the execution and presentation a THREE or FOUR. ~PGDGM~

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12 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Don't Waste Your Money!

1/10
Author: redfriend1 from new york, ny
23 June 2008

I was shocked when I heard that this film got picked up for distribution! I saw it at The Tribeca Film Festival last year, and felt totally cheated! I was lured in by an interesting premise in the film guide, but the writing and execution was very poor! Some of the acting was laughably bad. The worst part of all, was that in the Q&A after the film, the film maker and the lead actress were really arrogant and full of themselves! We just sat through their film which you'd call 'flawed' if you were feeling generous, and they were standing there literally calling themselves 'geniuses'. yuck! Please don't reward these folks with your hard earned money!!!

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12 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Not Real, Not Entertaining, Not a good movie

1/10
Author: Nick Catalano from United States
20 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to say, this was the biggest waste of my time in a movie I have seen.

The acting is horrible, the premise is stupid, and if you sit through this and don't laugh there is something wrong with you. No, it is not real. I have met the filmmakers who had the 'lead actress' (who supposedly killed herself) with them... which makes sense since she is MARRIED TO THE DIRECTOR. Poughkeepsie did have a serial killer a few years ago, so I understand how some people may think this is real, but this has nothing to do with that. I think they just choose that town so that people would think 'is it real, wasn't there a serial killer there in the 90s' It not only is not worth the money it is not worth your time.

Originally this was intended on being a straight-to-DVD release, and it should have stayed that way.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very disturbing - sticks in your head.

Author: laymonite-2 from United Kingdom
29 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What's the scariest thing you can imagine? How about forcibly losing your own mind and becoming another person? How about that happening to someone you love, someone in your family? That to me is the realistic core of the horror of this film.

On the surface this is initially quite a normal low budget 'fake documentary' style film. You may even be a little bored for a while.

The genius stroke is how this film somehow drags you in and makes you care about the victims (especially one), even while the law enforcement officials drone on ineffectively and you scoff at the whole thing to start with. .

I won't spoil it, but this film is essentially a fake 'documentary' about a serial killer. What really makes it stand out is the attention paid to the victims. It has the horror of Henry:Portrait or Confessions of a Serial Killer but much more.

This really stuck in my head - in a bad way! I've rarely ever seen anything so cruel (and horribly believable) in a film.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Amidst some stylistic shortcomings, this movie shines.

8/10
Author: temulent from United States
5 March 2011

The excellent: Truly unsettling use of POV hand-held camera footage, made all the more nauseating given the shoddy VHS-transfer look.

Visionary storytelling with multiple narrators with their own motivations (the Water Street Butcher himself, his victims, their families, law enforcement, etc).

A very masterful amount of restraint in what is actually shown on screen and what isn't. Face it, after the last thirty years of horror movie filmmaking, we as audiences are almost surprised to not see every last drop of blood, inch of skin or swing of the weapon.

The good: Pace, peaks and valleys are really well edited together. Cinematography is smart. And when it's working for the story, the b-roll cutaways and oversaturated time lapse landscape shots really punctuate the narrative.

The less than good: Some actors' performances drag it down. The son of the convicted, the mother of the abducted and a couple of the forensic/FBI guys really come off as cartoonish.

Those same b-roll and landscape shots that gave the film's morose tone and suffocating environment their occasional bursts of almost Gus Van Sant-eque surrealism just appear three times too often. Every time a new cop/authority is introduced, you can literally count the two "before we said action" frame up shots with their voice-over. Same goes for the undercrank landscapes - they're great - but overused.

That all said, the less than good just can't overshadow how brilliant this gloves-off, hyperreal piece of true horror is. Taking cues everywhere from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer to POV type films like Blair Witch to smart approximations of low-budget documentary work, you really do get sucked into the ride. As many have commented, this is not the six-horny-kids-get-slaughtered-off-black-man-first formulaic dirge. And though those movies have their own place and occasionally have some fun or interesting permutations on the recipe - The Poughkeepsie Tapes belongs on a different shelf altogether.

It's excellent, and just a few turns of the screw away from flawless. Given the company it keeps on your Netflix queue, that's saying a lot.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

it's a keeper

10/10
Author: shrimpephant from United States
18 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Honestly, I don't understand what people are getting so burnt out on.

So what, it wasn't real, you didn't shred The Blair With Project. Who cares! It was great. I'll admit, when I watched The Poughkeepsie Tapes I was under the impression that it was a real story, which just terrified me even more. This movie was the most visually shocking thing I've ever seen, real or fake. Period. I was actually a little upset at my boyfriend for letting me watch it because he knows what I can and cannot take as far as visual violence. This movie showed no mercy and for that I can ignore the bad acting. It's the best horror movie I've seen yet. After the movie my boyfriend and I talked for an hour or so about the most horrific parts, whether we thought it/parts were real, the truly sick nature of a human being like the killer was very intriguing.

I think everyone needs to lay off the Hate-orade, it's obviously impaired your ability to review good movies. This movie made me nauseous, it reminded me of all the sick people in the world and that at the very moment I was watching this fictional serial killer, one was looming the United States with just as or more terrible things to do to human beings. He just hasn't been exposed yet.

This movie, if nothing else, reminds you about the darker side of what human beings can do. It is, for that reason, better than any stupid humor college-frat-favorite or plot less chick flick out there right now. I recommended it to my best friend and she and her boyfriend watched it that night, she called with a lot to say about it, saying "that's the sickest thing I've ever seen" (referring to the brutality) - This movie is far beyond any "horror" film to come out in a long time. It seems all you need to make a "horror" movie these days is a bunch of chicks with large breasts, a vat of fake blood, and a recycled plot. Don't get me wrong, the women in this movie aren't unattractive but they're REAL looking, they look like they could live in your neighborhood and just that made it hit much closer to home.

I rated this movie a 10 because in the beginning of the movie, as I am easily paranoid as is, I told myself that I was going to watch this movie through a technical lens. I was going to find flaws in the acting, the cohesiveness of the plot, the scenery, directorial oops, things of that nature. Well, ten minutes into the movie I was totally engrossed and did not resurface until well after the movie had ended. Just how this movie was able to suck me in so deeply makes it great. Sure, there were parts in the movie I didn't love but overall it was better than anything I could have gone and seen at the theater this week.

I would recommend this movie to anyone.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful cinematography in select scenes, but leaves you wishing...

8/10
Author: Taotrac from United States
2 May 2010

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is tragically good, meaning, there is something extremely special about this film delivered in very rare moments. For starters, it's a mockumentary about The Poughkeepsie Killer, a surprisingly intelligent serial killer who tapes everything he does and goes out of his way to make his killings look eerie and downright cinematic.

First off, we're introducted to FBI and Morgue interviews, and it starts showing some clips of the serial killer's recordings, which get on your nerves at first glance not because they aren't creepy, but because the director of this film (this is a mockumentary, after all) applied way too much noise and static to the VHS clips to make it even look realistic. What was the killer supposed to be filming with, a 1901 crank film camera? Beyond this introduction though, you get over the clip's annoying quality, and the movie starts to make your jaw drop. The interviews quickly get boring, but the clips get extreme and downright (and you'll just have to see to believe) beautiful. The cinematography of the killer's tapes is downright awe-inspiring, and brings back a horror style not seen since the days of black and white film. Mardi Gra costumes, monster-esquire body movements...unrealistic horror beauty at it's finest, and the moment this starts happening, I started wishing the whole movie was just the tapes, and not any silly interviews. There are 'hundreds' of these 'tapes', that the police in the film found, and well, this film makes you want to see the rest of them!

Now, that's not to say this film doesn't have it's detective twists, it's neat police work, etc etc, but this film would have been a underground legend if it had been a hour and 30 minutes of just the tapes alone, because there's so few of them in the film, that the beauty of them leaves you wanting to see so much more. One look at the homage the tapes give to the Phantom of the Opera type stylings and you'll no doubtly agree.

Great movie, it really is, and it will leave you in some kind of awe!

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