13 user 12 critic

The Tapes (2011)

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.


Lee Alliston (co-director), Scott Bates (co-director)


Scott Bates




Credited cast:
Jason Maza ... Danny
Arnold Oceng ... Nathan
Natasha Sparkes ... Gemma
Nick Nevern ... Danny's brother
Mark Dusty Miller Mark Dusty Miller ... Worshipper
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lee Alliston Lee Alliston ... Farmer
Mandy Lee Berger Mandy Lee Berger ... The Barmaid
Eddie Folcarelli Eddie Folcarelli ... Worshipper
Mark Miller Mark Miller ... Worshiper
Mark Miller Mark Miller ... Pig
Jodie Mooney Jodie Mooney ... Whistable Kid
Peter Ross-Murray ... DC David Marshall
Tom Waldron Tom Waldron ... Gemma's Dad


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See what they saw...



Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

23 September 2011 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Canterbury, Kent, England, UK See more »


Box Office


£100,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby


Color | Color (HD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The main location for the film suffered a huge fire a year after shooting. This has been linked to 'the curse of the tapes'. See more »


A copy of "Call of Duty: Mordern Warware 2" is on a desk beside a character. The film was supposedly shot in 2008 while this game was released in 2009. See more »

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User Reviews

Fails in most respects
19 December 2011 | by sarahfirmanSee 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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