Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Poughkeepsie Tapes


This film goes for that whole documentary style approach, with interviews from various people explaining the situation. Tapes were found in a house in Poughkeepsie which show a serial killer at work, documenting all of the moves he has made over the years. They show bits and pieces of the tape to fit in with what they are talking about in relation to the killer and how he has worked over the years.

Now this is a low budget affair and it shows, in way does this look real. Some of the people who play characters from various law enforcement do come off more realistic then others. Each actor is on their own level, some come off and rather unconvincing and others come off a lot better. I thought one of the stronger ones was the man who plays the profiler who shows the Tapes to his class. The man playing the killer I thought actually had some of the worst acting in some intense scenes and that killed some of the moments for me.

The idea of a serial killer who changes his MO, moves from place to place and hides his identity tricking everyone, yet documenting it all on tape was a really good idea. I really dug that and was curious to see how it would play out. The way of doing this like a documentary I thought really worked with what they were doing. Some scenes on the actual tapes were really unsettling, especially ones that involved him with young girls (nothing was shown, rather implied) and one involving him stalking a woman in the house who he then keeps as a slave. Other scenes on the tapes did not come off as well and because of the bad acting from the killer were almost laughable.

Unfortunately due to these elements this is a bit of an uneven film, it would have benefited from some better capable actors. The effects used however were rather affective and with the budget they had I thought it went over pretty well. I had heard mixed things about this film, and it is easy to see why. Some would write this off as a rubbish low budget affair, and others I think would get a lot out of it too. I wasn't disturbed or creeped out by this, but I really as I said dug the idea behind it. This film is a really strong effort, you can feel the amount of work was put into this and you got to appreciate that. There are some good twists and turns and a lot of things to do with the story actually work really well. The script is pretty good, I was rather impressed with how this all played out and the ending I thought was great too.

This was something different for the serial killer sub genre and having him tape everything was a good plot device, I can't imagine watching tapes like this if they were real. It doesn't explain the actions of this man, it is too hard too. The monster created here really is something nightmares are made of.

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