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The Tapes (2011)

 -  Horror  -  23 September 2011 (UK)
3.2
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Ratings: 3.2/10 from 386 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 11 critic

Fame-hungry Gemma asks her boyfriend Danny and his media student mate Nathan to film her Big Brother audition. They hear about a sex party and change course, but soon wish they hadn't as the party goers turn out to be devil worshippers.

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Storyline

Gemma Baker, a fame hungry wannabee, persuades her hapless boyfriend Danny and his media student best mate Nathan to help her film a big brother audition tape. The weather is bad so they take a moments respite in a local pub, where they hear of a 'Swingers' party taking place on a local farm. Wide boy Danny has the idea of filming the party on video cameras with a view to blackmailing the attendees. They break onto the farm and wait for the arrival of the party goers. The farm is littered with clues and warnings which they ignore before falling foul of the party goers who are in fact Devil Worshippers Written by Scott Bates

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23 September 2011 (UK)  »

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£100,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the film took just seven days to shoot - it took a further 20 months for post production. Not because a mass of effects - but purely the budget was so extremely low the producers had to rely on favours and work with editors at ungodly hours in order to get the film completed. See more »

Goofs

An end title reads "No member of the Brotherhood of Belzeebub [spelled incorrectly] has yet to be traced". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fails in most respects
19 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I quite like the found footage sub-genre, and I like Britissh horror generally, so this held some promise for me. What a let down. Unfortnunately, the film simply fails on most levels. I've seen my share of bad horror (in fact I've seen three other terrible horror films this evening), but rarely have I seen a film that sets out with clear, easily attainable objectives and yet manages to miss every mark. Firstly, that pacing is flawed. I see what they were going for. I'm all for building character, having 'nothing happen' so that when something happens it is creepy and impactful. However, not only is there no ominous atmosphere, there is little in the way of characterisation. The protagonists we an amalgam of stereotyped traits: clearly the screenwriter saw some of Noel Clarke's films and added as many slang terms as they could in order to make the "kids" seem "real": the result is as stilted and distancing as it sounds. Part of the problem is that the actors themselves either didn't believe in the material (who could blame them) or are just not very good. Wooden, unconvincing and entirely lacking chemistry. Regardless of how one feels about Blair Witch, one of the the reasons that film became so iconic was because the actors did a great job. The context (three actors, two camcorders, no special effects, natural light/sound) means all that is left is the interactions - without actors that can carry the material, the film is doomed from the outset. The director's misunderstanding of the material and context is underscored by the "subliminal" foreshadowing insert shots throughout: these are badly edited, being on screen for the wrong amount of time - like a joke, timing is everything in these cases. Shorter or longer would have worked better, but the length and frequency renders them ineffective. Moreover, it would work if they were naturalised by the camcorder context, but the filmmakers fail to integrate them into the 'found footage' in a naturalistic way (say what you will about August Underground, but that form of editing is something Vogel manages to to extremely well). All in all, considering the film is constituted by a bunch of clichés, i am shocked that it didn't manage to be effective at some point or other, but somehow it did. My advice is to avoid this, and watch just about anything else instead


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