The Poughkeepsie Tapes

2009

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

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50%
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Audience Score

User Ratings: 28,642

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AUDIENCE SCORE

50%
Average Rating: 3/5

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Movie Info

In 2001, police in Poughkeepsie New York made a shocking discovery--10 bodies buried in the backyard of a residential house. Astonishingly, that was only the beginning. Inside the home, police uncovered over 800 neatly organized videotapes detailing the exploits of one man's decade-long crime spree. The most disturbing part of the find was that the killer had filmed all of the footage himself--from his first moments stalking his victims to their last seconds alive. "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" examines the homicides--incorporating interviews from criminal experts, testimony from the only victim ever rescued alive, and chilling footage shot from the killer's own camera--documenting the twisted path of a serial killer as never before. Beginning in 1988, a wave of missing person reports and unsolved murders from New York to Pennsylvania, began to alarm law enforcement officials. Many of the strange disappearances and dead victims held similarities. Soon the authorities realized they were dealing with a serial killer. The hunt to identify and capture the killer was layered with troubling facts and haunting events, eventually ending at the house where the tapes were found. Unfortunately, the discovery left more questions than answers. Did the killer leave the tapes intentionally? Do the tapes hold hidden clues? Is he still active? This film dares to show what has never been presented to the public before-the evidence, the puzzle, and the footage of "The Poughkeepsie Tapes."

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Critic Reviews for The Poughkeepsie Tapes

All Critics (4)

Audience Reviews for The Poughkeepsie Tapes

½

As far as documentary, found footage horror films are concerned, The Poughkeepsie Tapes doesn't offer anything new. I found that this was a bit of a letdown. However I did somewhat enjoy it, but there's really nothing to add in the genre. This film is a collection of things we've seen time and time again, thus it becomes cliché after cliché. The material here is derivative from Blair Witch Project and there are plenty of opportunities to steer the film in a good direction, however it falls short. The film is decent, but is quite forgettable in the long run. Acting wise, there are no real standout performances and it's standard low-budget acting, so don't expect anything good with that as well. This film has the misfortune of having been made when found footage films started to be hit and miss. This is a decent little flick, but it could have been much better than what it turned out to be. The concept is good and it's a shame that they couldn't deliver a more solid film because of it. The ingredients were there, but it lacked something to truly make this one stand out in the genre. Overall, it's decent, but it's nothing original, thrilling or exciting. The directors clearly don't know how to create a tense, suspenseful horror film, and it leaves a lot to be desired from the final; product. A decent film, but nothing ever special, The Poughkeepsie Tapes could have been much better. Compared to other films in this genre, this one doesn't do anything to truly elevate the genre into new, unexplored territory.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

One of the best serial killer movies I have seen. Using the documentary style of film making to great effect, a chilling and at times horrifying look at a how this guy does what he does and gets away with it. So much better than so many crappy teen slasher movies.

Stuart Brooks
Stuart Brooks

Super Reviewer

A literally crazy film about a sadistic serial killer. I understand it is a mockumentary, but the filming and visuals could have been better. The acting was also poor, not the greatest of films.

Eric Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

½

John Erick Dowdle's unjustly shelved The Poughkeepsie Tapes is not torture porn. It's a terrifying faux documentary that forces you to contemplate the mind of a serial killer. The found footage "genre" has been done. But this film takes it one step further. Instead of playing the found footage ala [Rec] or The Blair Witch Project, The Poughkeepsie Tapes brings in the reactions of FBI officials, relatives of the victims, psycho analysts, and the like who talk about how the found footage has affected them, and how much thought, patience, cunning, determination, and sheer joy the killer put into his murders. This is not a film for everyone. The way the interviewed describe what is on the found tapes is unsettling. But then, you're forced to watch parts of the tapes. While the build up is scarier than the pay off, both are effective nevertheless. My main complaint is that the script tries to make this serial killer like Jigsaw, which means he's too perfect at what he does. The man has thought out every angle and much to his own satisfaction, he toys with the police. This makes the movie quite predictable. But at the same time, I think the film isn't about how the movie ends. It's an experience that the filmmakers want you to go on, an experience into the most depraved human being civilized society could know.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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