The Dark Tapes (2017) – Movie Review

The Dark Tapes (2017) - Movie Review

Nice one to Howard – who once again alerted me to the (slightly illegal) release of The Dark Tapes on Putlocker!

There is actually only one of the Putlocker sites available in the UK at the moment due to the crackdown on film streaming sites…luckily it seems to be the same Putlocker site Howard uses! 🙂

I’d heard a lot about this film in the run up to it’s release but it was hard to gauge how good it was going to be – you never really know what promotion is filmmaker-driven at the end of the day.

Still, there was a lot of talk about it…and that doesn’t happen with many Found Footage films these days…

The Plot

Okay, we are looking at an indie anthology horror flick with a strong ingredient of science fiction thrown in for taste. From what I can remember, the 98 minute run time is made up of 4 different stories that (sort of) interlock throughout.

Think alternative dimensions, demons and scientific experiments…and you won’t go far wrong!


Now, before I sat down to watch this film I did carry out a little research first – I always try to do this with movies that have a big promotion presence behind them.

Most of the early reviews tended to point this effort towards the classic V/H/S Found Footage anthologies…but I just didn’t see that at all.

Actually, apart from the anthology setup, I didn’t feel there were any similarities linking the two!

I think that first time feature filmmakers Michael McQuown and Vincent J. Guastini were fully aware of the setup of the V/H/S franchise – but they had no real intention of following it’s route at all.

They took the template and tried to make something different with it, which should be commended really.


I’m afraid I’m going to have to start this conclusion by stating that The Dark Tapes was nowhere near as good as I thought it was going to be…but it was still a very interesting experience!

The first offering from the anthology was excellent…and the wrap-around story which makes up the main ‘guts’ of the plot was also excellent…but two of the sections were not so good.

I think the negative sides of the film stemmed from the directors trying their best to be unique and original in this genre…and that’s a good thing really…but in this case it wilted at times.

I think the general public is going to find the plot’s journey slightly over-complicated in places – and this is certainly going to stand against it’s popularity.

But keep in mind that this movie was put together on a budget of just $65,000…and it has managed to stir up a decent publicity drive before it hit the big screens.

The deep story line was thankfully backed up by some impressively effective special effects planted on some cool dark imagery. This worked well.

Now we all know that the level of acting can make or break a Found Footage project – if the actors are up to scratch the realism comes out to play!

I’m pleased to announce that the level of acting in The Dark Tapes was very healthy overall, a big plus to the film’s effectiveness.

At the end of the day, the main downfall of this film was linked directly to the ‘noise’ it made before it came out…which is sort of like a double-edged blade!

I expected more, but my Found Footage taste buds still ended up pretty satisfied anyway!

Not what I thought it was going to be…but still well worth watching.



  1. I think we watched this almost simultaniously. Anyway. I did enjoy this too, but it seemed a bit rushed or something. It’s hard to go into details about it without spoiling for ppl who haven’t seen the movie yet. There’s a lot of good ideas in here, still I feel they should have sat back with the thinking cap on one more time before they released it asking questions like “shoud we show a little bit less of this?”, “is this effect scene too long?”, “did we over sell it a bit here and there?” and so on.

    In band terminology this is a pretty good demo tape.

    • I like that and I’ll go with that – a pretty good demo tape! Hopefully their next release will be a little more polished…

  2. I unfortunately have to agree, this movie was very over-hyped. Good effort and some originality here and there which is refreshing but warrants only a single watch-through imo

    • Yeah definitely original…but not what I hoped it would be. Still, well worth watching if you are a FF fan! 🙂

  3. Hi Chris
    I have to say that because I am someone who suffered from night terrors heavy during my teens into early 20s, I LOVED the two segments dealing with them in this movie. I didn’t realize how common night terrors were or should I say how similar the experience is for those who suffered them until I watched that movie on Netflix that came out recently called The Nightmare. I agree with you that it could be more polished but I feel strongly that the night terror angle is one that has HUGE potential in the FF style. But considering the budget I think they deserve huge accolades for this movie. Really original.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Mike – that must have been a right pain in the ass during your teenage years! I liked the movie sure, but I did expect a lot more from the early whispers I heard on it. Still, a good watch overall.

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