Movie Review: The Dark Tapes
Updated: May 28, 2019
‘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. ‘
So once again we were given an opportunity to review another independent film before its release. It's been awhile since I've watched a truly independent film if I recall the last one was Lilith’s Awakening so having a chance at another one I had no problem taking it on. I took a look at the trailer on YouTube and it intrigued me somewhat.
At first glance I thought the film was going to be in the category of Paranormal Activity or The Ring and after a little bit of runtime my thoughts quickly changed. If I truly had to make a comparison to anything that is out there right now the only thing after watching in its entirety would be a horror version of Quentin Tarantino’s Four Rooms. The Dark Tapes tell multiple stories over the course of the film. However, it does loop back around from the beginning and closes by wrapping itself up by coming back from whence it began.
Without giving away any spoilers in the film I will say that I was pleased with some of the twists and turns of the smaller stories within the film. There were times when I physically nodded at the film when something played itself out to its conclusion. From time to time I even was expecting jump scares and they wouldn't come and other times I didn't expect it and the film would drop one. Overall, I feel that the film does a great job of eliciting the appropriate response and tosses in a surprise or two.
The only problem I would say I had with the film was at parts of the movie was with one of the special effects. Now a lot of the camera tricks and after affects I didn’t have any problem with and a good portion of them worked very well. The one I had an issue with was the camera static that made it feel like I hadn't cleaned my Nintendo cartridge all retro pixelated and colorful. I just felt that with everything else effects wise that this one part of it fell flat. I would have rather have had some ‘snow’ superimposed over top of the footage as opposed to it feeling like I was watching a music video I made in the 7th grade. But it was just a minor annoyance I had and if anyone reads my reviews I tend to be hard on CGI and visual effects to begin with.
Looking at the film from the outside after watching it I noticed that it had won a number of awards at various festivals for a variety of categories from Best Horror Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor. In total 61 awards won from a total of 30 festivals which is a pretty good track record. I can understand why it would have the nominations it has because I would agree that the screenplay and writing was solid. I can certainly stand by the film as one of the top tier independent films I have seen over the past number of years.
The film was just released on most on demand style avenues as well as Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and more on April 18th. And according to the writer and director Michael McQuown due the film’s success on the festival circuit that there is a sequel on its way and is currently in pre-production. If anyone is a horror fan and likes some twists and some intelligent thought behind the plot then I would give it a shot. Take a look for it with your local On Demand services or grab it on iTunes ($10 Cdn) it’s well worth the money and a great way to support the independent scene at the same time. I look forward to the sequel and hope I get an opportunity to take a look at that one as well. I am pretty sure that I will have to revisit the film myself and give it another watch to take in some more of the nuances and effects and see what I missed the first time around.
4 Beards out of 5