From the Vault #7: THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES (2007)

From 2012 onwards, before developing this blog, I wrote a multitude of reviews on the website Letterboxd. In this irregular series called From the Vault, I’m going to haul these earlier reviews out of mothballs and re-purpose them here.

This one is from October 23rd, 2015…

Having been pulled from release after a limited run, The Poughkeepsie Tapes has been for the better part of a decade a very difficult film to get hold of, until recently when it was finally released on VOD.

Now a whole new legion of horror fans will get to see why John Erick Dowdle’s found footage piece was subdued for so long; not that it was ever officially censored, but upon watching it you may be surprised to hear it wasn’t. Taking the found footage format of a collection of tapes left behind by a horrific serial killer upon fleeing the house he committed his crimes, and fusing it with a documentary format of fake professionals from within psychology, police, the FBI etc… Dowdle’s manages to create a picture truly, deeply unnerving and unsettling. The horror here isn’t supernatural, it’s about a purely human monster – dubbed ‘The Water Street Butcher’ – and how, Zodiac-style, he manages to stay one step ahead of law enforcement and keep his identity concealed. The difference being here this man commits nothing short of real atrocities, the nature of his crimes dwarfing most of what traditional horror films these days show you.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes fucks with your mind too.