Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

The Water Street Butcher is a sick and twisted killer, who likes to record the demise of his victims. The Water Street Butcher captures all of the murders and torture on camera. The shocking footage could help detectives capture the elusive and dangerous killer, but for some, the footage of the grisly murders is too much to handle.

The Poughkeepsie tapes is a found-footage film, and usually, I HATE this style of filmmaking, but my personal feelings couldn’t get in the way here. The Poughkeepsie Tapes is an outstanding found-footage horror film, and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes gives you an in-depth look at the deranged mind of the killer. The Water Street Butcher is sick and sadistic, and his presence does provide plenty of chilling moments throughout this film. The Poughkeepsie Tapes provides a unique portrayal of the killer, and The Water Street Butcher is burned in memory, because I will remember him as one of the most evil characters I’ve ever seen in any type of film.

Also, The Poughkeepsie Tapes does feature a unique style of filmmaking. For the most part, you will see this film through the killer’s eyes, as he films his murderous rampage. The scenes that involve The Water Street Butcher can feel genuinely disturbing, because you really get to see how much of a sick freak this man is. But they also show some documentary style footage, that includes many interviews from police, FBI agents, people who invested time in the murder mystery, and families of the victims. They also show footage of a retired FBI agent, who teaches classes to future FBI hopefuls, and he uses the footage of the murders as a tool for teaching. The interviews, and the behind the scenes stuff (autopsies, teaching classes, etc.) was great, but one of the final interviews shown in this film really packed a powerful punch.

Cheryl Dempsey was one of The Water Street Butchers’ early victims. For years, he held her captive. The Water Street Butcher tortured Cheryl, and he forced her to kill. Although, The Water Street Butcher showed this particular victim some mercy. He developed a bond with Cheryl, and he actually let her live. But Cheryl was a broken woman after her release. She developed feelings for the killer, and she didn’t want to live without him. At the end of the film, the audience learns of Cheryl’s suicide, and this did provide a heartbreaking conclusion at the end.
**End spoilers**

The Poughkeepise Tapes allows you to see the film from the killer’s point of view, and the interviews during the documentary portions of this film do provide some insight for his motivations and desires. Also, I could really feel for the victims here. You can see them suffer in the murder scenes, and the heartbreaking interviews from the family members do provide the necessary emotional touch. They were able to provide a good mixture of the killer’s footage with the documentary portions of this film, and blending both styles of footage did make everything feel more realistic.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes can feel genuinely disturbing most of the time, and this film does feature a good amount of shocking violence and graphic gore. This film is loaded with some great tension, the acting is decent enough, and the murder scenes do provide plenty of cringing moments. Also, there’s a nice twist at the end, and The Water Street Butcher’s crafty tactics do provide one hell of a surprise.

Final Rating: 8/10

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