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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 4 people found the following review useful:

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

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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9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

The Poopandpeepee Tapes

Author: ElijahCSkuggs from Happy Land, who lives in a Gumdrop House on Lolly Pop Lane
15 January 2009

Ah, that's much better. I was just going to write "this movie sucks" in the subject line but I thought something that resembled the actual title would work better. Honestly I think this is a better title and more fitting title.

Okay, story about found tapes that consist of the murders and torture of The....Waterstreet? The Watersomething Butcher. Have professionals and other schmucks talk about the tapes, the motive of the killer and other boring crap. That's it pretty much. Watch disturbing footage of the killer and listen to bums.

I call the people schmucks and bums because I'm talking about their acting skills. The acting in this movie is awful. This flick and the Blair Witch type way they try to make you believe what you're watching is real, failed miserably. There isn't a second of this movie where the writing or acting succeeds. Right from the get go, if you have any clue whatsoever in what you're watching, you'll realize it's fake. And that is where the movie needed to succeed. But it wasn't even slightly believable and thus, the movie turned into a major turd sandwich.

I do have to admit I enjoyed the way the killer would talk to his soon-to-be victims. It was calm and friendly and kinda silly. So that was a good thing. Also, I do have to give credit where credit is due. It's pretty clear that the makers really did try to make a legit pseudo documentary flick. So nice job at trying to make a good film. Just do a better job casting and directing your actors. And writing, that stunk too.

Sure I know I sound like a douche but when it comes down to horror flicks that create zero scares, zero chills, and flat-out zero horror, then I just gotta bash it. It boggles my mind that this flick had any type of hype surrounding it. Okay, enough of this stupid review, time to get back to Ren and Stimpy.

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22 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Falls oh so short

Author: chrisher-1 from United Kingdom
8 March 2009

I looked forward to this movie for the better half of six months, so when I finally got my hands on a copy I couldn't wait to be scared . . . How disappointed I was.

Don't get me wrong, this film has its moments, there are genuinely terrifying scenes that are shot by the killer himself through his camcorder. But these are few and far between. In its place, we are 'treated' to documentary footage detailing the rise of this mad man and how incredibly smart he is, in addition to a sentimental love sub plot which is just bizarre and un-realistic (which makes no sense when the root of the horror lies in realism).

I expected so much form this movie and wanted to love it and embrace it much like I did REC, but when the quality of narrative is this lacking, it really isn't worth the time of day. What's more, it is incredibly frustrating to see what could have been, concentration on murder footage and less reliance on badly acted talking head segments.

If you like pure horror than stay well away form this sorry excuse. A waste of a brilliantly original idea.

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22 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Uh... No, it's NOT real.

Author: johnbohl from Portland, OR
13 December 2007

An interview at the Tribeca Film Fest with director John Dowdle revealed - when asked if this movie is based on an actual killer in Poughkeepsie - that (and I quote): "It's actually a combination of a number of them, but there's one -- Edmund Kemper. He was a really, really scary guy and we took a lot of pieces from him and we took some from the Green River Killer. There was a guy in Chicago we took pieces from. There was a duo in Michigan who worked together and filmed everything they did, and we took some stuff from them. Some from Ted Bundy too. So we sort of combined a lot of different real stories. Remember that couple that kidnapped a 19-year old girl and kept her as a slave for six years? We took pieces of that as well." So all of you out there insisting that this is a true story about a Poughkeepsie killer who video-taped his murders are making fools of yourselves.

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26 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Horrible! Painful to watch...

Author: Rob L (ashleedawg) from Canada
6 January 2009

Perhaps if they spent a little bit more money on this movie, it would have been a little more believable and thus would have been a little bit more enjoyable to watch. I get the impression that they were trying to do 'Blair Witch Project' meets 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' but Blair Witch was way more believable with the home-made-feel and Texas Chainsaw Massacre had a decent plot behind it. I'm not a big fan of horror/gore movies but both Blair Witch and Texas Chainsaw were enjoyable.

'The Poughkeepsie Tapes' kept me wondering where the punchline was going to be. It was silly how the camera constantly avoided the action, and so little money was spent on faking injuries. Funny how everyone that gets cut up is always found laying injury-side-down.

I would recommend that you don't waste your time watching this movie.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

first of all ..people who say the acting sucked..better look back..

Author: briny7777 from United States
23 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To the people who thought the acting sucked? Trust me it didn't. The reason why this movie never made it to the theatres was because it was disturbing because it's actual footage from a town on Poughkeepsie Ny, a place about 20 minutes away from where I live. The news stories surrounding this terror people lived were actual footage from channel 5 and 2..DO YOURSELF A FAVOR..DON'T CRITIQUE THE ACTING WHEN PARTS OF IT WERE ACTUALLY REAL...I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS! google the Poughkeepsie killings back in 2001 and earlier when the actual tapes were found. Seriously this director knew what he was doing in this because he has friends that lived through this. Berate it all you want! like I your history before critiquing the acting being HORRIBLE,AVERAGE or SO SO.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Definitely a contender.

Author: Keith Jamison from Belfast
18 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you sat through The Blair Witch, bored out of your skull as three young film-makers traipse around the countryside hoping to make us all scared and you watched in terror as, in the final few minutes at the old house when everything hits the fan... you're in for a treat.

This movie is like those last few minutes - the whole way through! Okay so some of the acting is a bit rubbish. I maybe recognised two or three people from other things. All in all, it is a credible documentary style offering although, what passes for 'real life' acting is a little above theatrical ham for a few of the cast.

No matter, this is a genuinely creepy film. You have to keep reminding yourself that it is only a movie as some of the scenes are quite realistic thanks in part to the shaky hand-held camera footage and what your brain 'fills in' off camera. It's 'mock snuff' but well done 'mock snuff'.

The subject matter is disturbing as the age range of the victims is broad.

Claimed as the first part of a trilogy, I would definitely want to catch the follow ups but only if they were of the same gritty quality and the acting (for a few) was more realistic. The documentary 'experts' were filmed particularly well.

A lot of thought, time and effort has gone into the making of this movie and you will be rewarded if you watch it all the way through.

One of the most disturbing images is of one of the victims, late on in the movie. You might be left 'scratching your head' wondering how they did that.

If you think it will be like Scream or Evil Dead, you will not be happy. It's more of a 'FBI Files' or 'Real CSI' type of movie.

I would say that a bigger budget would allow for some ultra-realistic prosthetic body parts to push the scare-o-meter to the limits.

Be afraid but keep telling yourself, "It's only a movie!" Damn Fine Film.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

There is something here

Author: alienkevin15 from United States
27 May 2009

This is my first review ever.

The horror films that Hollywood has been releasing are forgettable to say the least. This movie is not like any other slasher I have seen in a long time. This movie is what I would call a breath of fresh air to the horror genre.

I just finished watching the Poughkeepsie Tapes and I am not sure what I am feeling. The movie is terrifying and it portrays some of the most brutal scenes and images I have ever seen. While watching it you feel like you have to look away for some of it but you still watch it. The whole movie reminds me of the feeling when you are driving by a car accident and you have to see what happens even if you know what you are going to see may shock you. The movie gives me hope that there are still film makers that want to push the limits and enjoy terrifying there audiences.

This movie does have it's share of flaws but mostly the biggest one for me has to the acting. This flaw is pretty big because it takes away from the reality of the movie. Which sometimes is not that bad since you already think that the movie is a documentary and not a movie. Not all the roles are terrible but you can easily tell which characters I am describing.

Overall I enjoyed this movie a whole lot. The Poughkeepsie Tapes will definitely shock you and will remind you that people out there still enjoy what they are doing and have fun at your expense. We should be happy that people are still doing this because that is what makes us enjoy horror so much.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

bouncy bounce bounce

Author: theblueteapot
9 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What the f*** is with the balloon?

It's all "ooh, scary torture" and "ooh, creepy mask" and then BAM! Balloon bouncing. WHAT. THE. F***?

My favorite part of this movie is when they're executing the cop and, in the midst of a lethal injection scene, they do a multi-coloured flashback of the balloon bouncing. And then: death! And a freeze-frame on the gal looking bewildered as the balloon pops. Damn fine directing right there. Damn fine.

It was unsettling.

... Though not quite as unsettling as the fact that the directors actually have a camera and free reign to make more movies (about balloons).

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Definitely Not For the Squeamish!

Author: CinemaClown from India
4 August 2011

I was expecting this film to be a gore fest & to some extent it really was, but it also surprised me with its interesting plot, amateur but fine acting & its documentary style of filmmaking and the way it balanced everything so nicely. The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a mockumentary that follows a fictional serial killer and tries to delve into his psych by showing some of the tapes he made to capture his killings. The violence, tortures & gore in the tapes are very messy to look at but it still & somehow adds up to the disturbing experience as the real horror of this film isn't what you see but what it leaves out for you to imagine.

Overall, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is neither a bad film nor is badly filmed. The camera is used accordingly & the pictures in recorded tapes look grainy, messed up, very low resolution but they also seem pretty realistic. It's an impressive feature to come out from a low-budget production & I'm still amazed that I actually liked this film. Had no expectations from it at all but it turned out to be something so much better than a typical slasher films. A must watch for fans of gore & horror and definitely not for the squeamish.

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