The plot of the found footage feature The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) is not as important as way this film has yet to have an official US release. The film, as crafted by writers Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle (who also directs), is a collection of confiscated VHS tapes from a serial killer who has menaced the streets for decades. The tapes are the serial killers journal of each and every one of his victims and crimes.
The film was a huge success on the film festival circuit making the Dowdles a wanted commodity in Hollywood. The successes of this film at the festivals lead to the Dowdles Hollywood debut Quarantine (2008) and eventually Devil (2010), with several other films on the way. So why hasn’t The Poughkeepsie Tapes not been released yet especially in a market dominated by found footage films (i.e. The Devil Inside, Chronicle, The Last Exorcism, and Apollo 18, to name a few)?
The film is actually quite good for a found footage film that can stand next to any of the other films out there. It’s one of those rare looks into the mind of a serial killer while also exposing his victims. The audience is no longer a voyeur but complacent to the crimes that unfold on screen. The film has a knack of getting under your skin and never letting go. It’s very similar to the tone and mood to that of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) or Man Bites Dog (1992).
Even though the film has not been given an official US release it can be found on You Tube and other free streaming sites. It is a film that you should seek out if you’re a found footage or horror fan.