The Dark Tapes is a low-budget horror anthology with a found footage twist. A very strong first story sets the tone, but the story tying the short film together is a weak spot for me!
The Dark Tapes is a found footage horror anthology, which is something I tend to love. The anthology concept, I mean. For me, anthologies tend to offer enough diversity in its stories that most people can find something they like.
Also, I just really love short films. So it’s a bit of a win-win for me, when I get horror short films collected in these anthologies.
The Dark Tapes starts out with a story that I could easily imagine as a feature film. It was called The Hunter and the Hunted. I just loved the idea and the execution of that segment.
Now, keep in mind that this is both low-budget and found footage, so the style is pretty gritty. This includes both sound and image.
The weak part of The Dark Tapes
While I enjoyed most of the short films in The Dark Tapes, the weak spot was the story tying everything together. Or actually, it didn’t tie much of anything together for me. And the story was a bit all over the place. Maybe it could’ve worked as one of the short films, but broken up in pieces as the underlying story? Not for me!
One weak element shouldn’t be a problem for an anthology, but it does become an issue when we keep returning to it. Another recent anthology had a very simple underlying story that tied the short films together. I’m thinking of Galaxy of Horrors, which used comedy to take you from one horror story to the next.
And actually, Justin Doescher’s latest project, The Midnight Matinee, was another anthology that had a very simple segway that just worked!
However, The Dark Tapes is most definitely worth watching because the individual stories tend to work very well.
Of course, there’s usually an exception and for me, it was the Cam Girls short film. I really liked the concept, but it was executed extremely poorly.
It had a distinctly cheap and crappy porn feel to it, and too many things were just cringe-worthy. But the story? The story caught my attention and is another one that could work as a developed feature film.
The potential for more
I would love to see another horror anthology from Michael McQuown, who created and wrote all the shorts. He also directed most of them while Vincent J. Guastini directed the wrap-around segment that I didn’t enjoy. To be fair, it’s the concept of that segment I didn’t like, and not the directing of it per say.
And if they wanted to turn the first segment, The Hunter and the Hunted, into a feature film, then I would love to watch it!
The Dark Tapes is out on VOD now, so be sure to check it out.
Director: Vincent J. Guastini, Michael McQuown
Writer: Michael McQuown
Cast: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Danielle Baez, Katelyn Bailey
Ghosts, spirits, creatures, demons and more from the paranormal world collide with rational curiosity.
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