Directors: Vincent J. Guastini, Michael McQuown
Screenwriter: Michael McQuown
Directors of Photography: Michael McQuown, Matt Shapira
Cast: Emilia Ares Zoryan, David Banks, Jonathan Biver
Synopsis: Anthology horror movie about the underbelly of the world as we know it, “The Dark Tapes” sees a group of intersecting stories come together to form an account of cross-dimensional beings who seek to infiltrate the world through chaos and death.
Dark Tapes Review:
Built on tangible terrors and hair-raising nightmares, “The Dark Tapes” recaptures the beats of the found footage sub-genre as candid recordings and low production values reveal a horror movie that thrives on the rationalisation of the paranormal. Acknowledging the inconsistent tones and textures of traditional anthology movies, “The Dark Tapes” works hard to retain uniformity between its handful of segments as it backpedals its way through ambiguous explanations to reveal a strange story that neither subverts convention nor avoids an erratic shooting style.
Relying on abrasion and failing to create a palpable atmosphere, “The Dark Tapes” puts its tale of unconscious realms to questionable use as practical effects and abrupt twists barely make up for the movie’s shaky performances and brick wall logic. Placing subtle clues in each chapter yet always returning viewers to the exact same point within its bumpy narrative, the movie folds together like origami yet never forms into an appealing whole as poor writing detracts from plausibility and conversations take exposition to ridiculous heights.
While the story itself verges on radical with its inclusion of a number of thought-provoking “Twilight Zone” concepts, “The Dark Tapes” soon becomes an underwhelming addition to an already saturated market with its level of conceptual proficiency unable to distract from its underwhelming application. Innovative in places but ultimately a throwaway Sci-Fi scare flick, the film allows its low grade shooting style to expose the actors as performers rather than characters within a believable story, drawing attention to their efforts through a lack of cinematic proficiency and failing to reel us back into its terrifying realm before we’ve already lost interest.