April 30, 2017

VOD Review: The Dark Tapes (2017)

"For a movie shot for less that 70k, this one deserves some credit."

The Dark Tapes is a Horror Anthology that earned some high praise from those who caught it during its festival screenings, and I have to say that I'm not sure why they all seemed to love it so much.

It's decent enough, and it definitely puts a new spin or two on the V/H/S formula, but in all honesty it's a half and half effort at best.

Of course opinion being what it is and all, what we have to say is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, but I've seen a ton of Found Footage flicks since the boom began, and it just felt very average overall.

(The Wraparound) To Catch a Demon- This segment is actually divided up into two parts: the first of which involves two people on a smoke break (?) on what looks to be a rooftop (again, ?) finding a camera in a room where something odd went on. They push play and begin to watch.

The meat of the wrap involves a professor and his sexy student conducting an experiment based around the idea that trans-dimensional beings can be seen by humans while in the state of REM sleep. They have a guy record them as they sleep, and what they discover is a terrifying look into what night terrors can be.

This is the best segment of the movie.

The Hunters and the Hunted- A couple (who have recently lost a child) moves into a new house and begins to experience some terrifying paranormal activity, so they call in some paranormal investigators for help. Things get worse and worse, culminating in an ending which was both unexpected and fun.

A solid segment.

Cam Girls- Two cam girls offer a poor schlep a private show which proves to be more than he bargained for.

This one didn't work for me at all.

Amanda's Revenge- The final segment (before we're taken back to the wraparound for the finish) involves a girl who is saved from a date rape at a party by her friends, and then begins to experience sleep paralysis of the worst kind.

Not a bad segment, it just didn't quite deliver the goods like it could have.  

First for the good stuff. The creature in the wraparound segment is awesome, and creepy as shit; Cortney Palm does her usual above-average-for-the-genre work here, and I still wonder how this girl isn't getting bigger roles. She can act; I really dug the story and the execution of he Hunters and the Hunted. It felt like a fresh take on a very tired FF story, and it was great. Most of the cast across all of the segments did a solid job.

Overall though, this is a decent but uneven anthology at best. First of all, I'm not sure where these Dark Tapes even come from. The people at the beginning find the wraparound tapes and watch them, so that makes sense, but the three segments in between are just kind of shown to us with no explanation as to where they come from? Were they all spliced together on the one tape? How? Why?

I don't know, maybe I missed something.

The Cam Girls segment had promise, but it didn't really do much with that potential, and the "dark" voice at the end was just bad. And Amanda's Revenge was interesting enough, but it petered out at the end.

There's some gore throughout this one, most of it in the Hunters and the Hunted segment. It does boast some pretty good creature FX though.

There's not skin to be found here, which is a shame because the Cam Girl segment could have delivered on that front had they pushed it a bit.

For a small-budgeted Indie flick populated with mostly unknown acting talent, The Dark Tapes is a pretty solid effort. If you hate Found Footage flicks, this one will not do much to change your mind for the better, but if you dig this sort of flick, then you're in for a mostly good time.

For us, the half of the movie that was good was worth watching the whole thing for. We'd probably wait to catch it for free on Netflix if we could do it all over though.


The Dark Tapes is available now on VOD.


The girls of The Dark Tapes. In segment order, no less.


  1. I had heard some buzz about this one, but have yet to catch it. Sounds like a decent enough watch on Netflix or Amazon if it comes up, but I won't get my hopes up for anything beyond that.

  2. The Creature Below was shot for only £19k and is even better.
    If you like a decent Lovecraft inspired flick, check it out!