The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) is yet another “found-footage” film, that is meant as a faux-documentary. (I swear I’m not doing reviews on those movies only, it just seems that most movies these days have tapped the “found-footage” well.) The story surrounds the elusive serial killer known as the Water Street Butcher, an evil, sadistic predator who seems to lurk in plain sight. He kills indiscriminately; children, women, men, even Girl Scouts. The thing is – he records his murders on a hand-held camera, giving the movie that gritty, torture-movie look. And it is creepy in some scenes, and especially some of the things he says.
Apparently, the killer has gotten away, but as the police search, they uncover hundreds of videotapes, thus the title of the movie. The “creator”of this “faux documentary” interviews ‘police’, ‘professors’, and ‘FBI agents’ about the sadistic killer, the tapes, and his victims. Those terms are in quotes, because it really is like a movie within a movie, or life imitating art imitating life. Something like that. This killer is very unique as opposed to your typical slasher movie killer. He wears incredibly scary masks, tells his victims to call him Master, and even kidnaps one girl and keeps her for years and when she escapes, she has Stockholm Syndrome and is in love with him. If you think about it, it is actually really sad. Not that this is a great movie, but it is absolutely unique and honestly, sort of scary at times. You really never know what is coming. A really creepy scene? The killer goes to the front door of one of his victims with his camera, and basically admits to doing it, and as the victim’s mother realizes it, he laughs and walks away. Okay, so it does not sound scary, but the way he talks really reminds you of how sick and twisted the world can really be.
This is probably the scariest part of the film.
I really liked this film, but it is currently not available on DVD, and no one really knows why. So to see it, you’ll have to find it on a website or download it somewhere. It was directed by the Dowdles, of the Devil and Quarantine fame. I hope they do release this someday, as it is a very compelling story, albeit a little cheesy, but no one will doubt that it is one of the most different films that is out there. I really liked it.