The Poughkeepsie Tapes – A Test on Your Sanity?

"The film is demented, terrifying and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."
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Hey everybody. It’s your old pal Fuzz. I’m here to tell you why you should never, ever, under any circumstance, for any reason watch The Poughkeepsie Tapes.

Just dont.

With that said. It was an expertly made film, and certainly achieves the goal of instilling horror in the viewer. Although I think it’s a more cerebral horror than anything I’ve seen in a long long time. In the wrong mindset, it’s possibly a dismissible piece. A possibly dismissible piece that I personally found ridiculously disturbing.

The film is presented as a sort of faux documentary/found footage hybrid. It’s given to us as if it were real. There’s no moment in the film where you have to suspend disbelief, which makes it even more monstrous. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to forget that it’s only a movie.

There’s no elaborate death traps. No mask wearing juggernaut with a hatchet. No spectral horror. It’s just a man. To be completely honest, it’s a deeply offensive film. Not in a modern cry baby sense. Just on a human level, the things the killer does in this film are presented so matter-of-factly with no sense of theater that it’s basically…well…it’s like watching a snuff film.

There are deeply disturbing psycho-sexual scenes that you can’t unsee. The rest is like sitting inside the brain of a human predator. On more than a few occasions I caught myself saying “Oh no…no no no…don’t…” out loud. The film is demented, terrifying and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

But, to be fair…Methinks that’s exactly what they were trying to pull off.

The film opens in a documentary style and digs in right away with no fanfare or fluff. At first, it even seems a little awkward. Then it gets to the tapes. Hundreds and hundreds of VHS tapes made by the killer for…I’m not sure, some sort of Machiavellian, John Doe from Seven, Moriarty kind of strategy. The police are at a complete loss. The killer keeps on killin’.

In case you’re actually thinking of seeing the movie, I won’t spoil it for you.

As an adult who loves horror movies, you become accustomed to the general styles that horror runs in. Slashers, Found Footage, Supernatural/Paranormal, Revenge and the oddities that linger around the edges of the villiage, most being relics of a bygone era we elderly folks knew as the 1970’s where you could do anything, the more insane the better. You know what to expect when you watch most horror movies and that’s not a bad thing. This movie? Eh…not so much. You’re walking into nightmare, and if you’re not ready for it? You’ll be looking over your shoulder for the rest of the day. That sick bastard might be right behind you.

This is presented as being real. I can’t say that enough. That’s what makes it so disturbing. There’s no invisible demons yanking housewives out of bed. No spooky dolls. No creeps hiding in the walls. I said it before, but…it’s worth repeating. It was just a man. That’s what makes it so hard to let go of. The things the killer does…man…it’s just difficult to sit through.

A sane person shouldn’t watch this movie.

You might like it though. If you do? See a psychiatrist asap.

I know. You think I’m daring you to see it. I’m not. Just let it go. Watch one of the SAW movies. Maybe something from the Puppet Master series. Annabelle? No, don’t do that. Find a good comfort scary movie and watch that. A classic. Leave this one alone.

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