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The Poughkeepsie Tapes

December 16, 2017


              The Poughkeepsie Tapes is very disturbing due to an evil point of view twist. Much like the 80's slasher "Maniac" and the Elijah Wood remake, we are in the shoes of the killer. Sometimes continuing to watch this movie is like continuing a bet. The filmmakers raising the stakes of the brutality scene after scene, pressing the sensibilities of the viewer into uncomfortable areas. One scene in particular, where the killer has a woman hogtied, making her scream "I am a slave" was particularly unsettling early on. If you can't make it past that, further viewing may not be the best idea for you. It's not hard to see why MGM shelved the film in 2007, leaving it for Shout Factory to release it on BluRay in 2017. I'm not sure a mainstream audience has ever been ready for a found footage film that pushes the barriers of taste as far as this one does.


             The middle of the movie has a nice reprieve from all of the brutality. There is an interesting story of mistaken identity, and misuse of the judicial system. It works well with the narrative, and breaks up what at one point seemed like it was going to be just a "greatest kill" highlight reel. As repetitive as the killing in the first third of the film, it still has a lot going for it. It leaves a very unsettling feeling far after it has stopped playing. There's a place in film where the nightmares live, and this one captured a little piece of that. This isn't for everyone, but if you're in for an intense found footage "documentary", this is worth a stream. The acting is above average compared to movies like Paranormal Activity or Blair Witch project, so that helps create a consistent reality. The FBI agents and News Reporters in particular do a great job in creating and extending the world of the Water Street Butcher. 


C+, Stream it, but don't worry if you can't hang with it. You may feel a need for a shower after viewing. 



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