The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Found Footage at its most shocking?


The found-footage/true crime exploration The Poughkeepsie Tapes was set to be released 13 years ago in the midst of the Paranormal Activity phenomenon really taking off.

For reasons unknown, the film was pulled from released and only given a limited release in 2014 before being taken up by Scream Factory three years later.

In the years since its release, the film has gained notoriety for being scary and skirting close to the bone with a number of its scenes.

While the blend of documentary and found footage don’t always blend there is certainly an atmosphere to the proceedings.

One boundary crossed is the attack of a young child early, which is shocking in one sense but also brings home authenticity rarely found in the majority of these sort of films.

Clearly, director and co-writer John Erick Dowdle did his homework on true crime cases before putting this to film, with his killer using a number of modus operandum to evade capture.

Dowdle would go on to direct the US remake of REC, Quarantine and the excellent As Above So Below and killer elevator feature Devil in 2010.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is certainly shocking and unsettling and once those end credits roll you will feel like you need a shower. It flirts with the idea of the torture-porn boom post-Saw but also tries to blend the procedural element, with the two sometimes at odds with each other.

Would I see it again? Definitely not, the Poughkeepsie Tapes is the sort of film you watch once for its shock factor and put in a dark corner, never to be heard from again.

Anyone considering seeing it, I would strongly recommend you prepare yourself as this can be a bumpy ride.

Watch the trailer for The Poughkeepsie Tapes below –


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