Movie ReviewsThe Dark Tapes – A Decent Found Footage Horror Anthology Film

Keith NoakesApril 26, 2017

I like to support indie films when I can so when an award-winning indie horror film was brought to my attention, I gave it a look and if you’re a found footage horror fan, so should you.

Synopsis: A genre-defying mixture of horror, sci-fi, myth, mystery and thrills told as four interlocking tales in one intelligent anthology. Ghosts, spirits, creatures, demons and more from the paranormal world collide with rational curiosity. (IMDB)

Starring: David Rountree, Emilia Ares Zoryan, and Brittany Underwood

Writer: Michael McQuown

Directors: Michael McQuown and Vincent J. Guastini

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 98mins


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This was film was an anthology film of sorts, featuring a series of four stories. These stories deal with a couple experiencing paranormal activity in the house they just moved in, a pair of lesbian lovers performing sexual acts for online customers, and a woman trying to combat the entities who have been taking control of her. The fourth story was intercut between the others and involved a group of paranormal investigators attempting to capture a demon where things quickly escalate out of control.

In terms of the stories themselves, there was nothing wrong with them conceptually but they just seem to be floating around with nothing seemingly connecting them to one another, other than a mysterious voice at the beginning and at the end of the film. Maybe this would become clearer after additional viewings but it this should have been clearer the first time. Those looking for a payoff may be disappointed.

While the stories, or “tapes”, weren’t quite the strongest, the most compelling one had to be the story about the paranormal investigators. None of them ever really went anywhere per se but the last one had the closest thing to a well-defined ending. The fact that it was intercut between the other stories did a disservice as the cuts hurt its momentum. The first two stories were kind of bad, both with twist endings. The first one admittedly came as a surprise for the wrong reasons. The third one was an actual story but it lacked enough development to have any impact. Anthology films are a fine balance so despite this, the film did a decent job with all the stories.

Considering this is a low budget indie film, it had pretty decent visual effects. The creatures, once we got to see them, were very well done. The sound design was creepy and ominous. Not all found-footage films are created equal with the style sometimes being distracting with shaky cams and such but that wasn’t the case here. The camerawork was actually well done here, following the action accordingly. Continuing with the low budget nature, the acting was not the greatest across the board and the dialogue wasn’t the best but it still kind of fit for whatever reason.

Overall, considering the budget, this was a decent found footage horror anthology film, succeeding at 2 of its 4 stories, boasting decent visual effects and creating an ominous ambiance throughout.

Score: 6/10

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