If by now, you haven’t heard of Five Nights at Freddy’s, you’ve been living under a rock. It hit YouTube by storm, and the fandom took off running with wild theories about Freddy and his friends. In this 4th (and “Final”) game, the tables are turned, and you are no longer at Fazbear’s pizza…you’re a kid at home, and Fred bear and friends are the monsters you hear breathing outside your door.
Ever since the release of The Blair Witch Project, the rise of found footage horror as been a rather steep climb. Typically it’s a much cheaper film to make, but can also be quite removing from the experience because everything has to look that much more real to pull off the situations on what appears to be home video. In 2007, The Dowdle Brothers (Who did the remake of REC later, called Quarantine) brought to life a fake documentary about a serial killer in upstate New York who would film the atrocities he would commit. When the police raid the house, they find hundreds of VHS tapes, which would begin the real investigation on who was responsible for creating, The Poughkeepsie Tapes.
What Works: The found footage aspect of the film in conjunction with the documentary pieces with the fake interviews with FBI agents, and the families of those effected by the atrocious acts of this killer, are incredibly put together. The performances of the characters feel real, which makes the acts you see happen on the tapes when you watch them that much more difficult to watch. The flickering of the footage, the warped tapes, the discoloration, everything about these tapes feel legitimate which definitely aids in the terror.
The tapes themselves, I should also mention, are incredibly disturbing and if you have a nervous disposition, or are easily traumatized, you should probably avoid this flick at all costs. Even for a horror freak like me, I was always sitting with baited breath, no matter how many times I’ve seen this film, it makes me feel almost a deep pitted sickness in my stomach which is hard to pull off. That’s a positive by the way, horror films need to hit hard in order to be effective, and this one knocks that ball out of the park.
What Doesn’t Work: While I could talk about how effective this movie is for quite a while, there are some pretty large flaws that definitely effect this experience as a whole. I mention that the performances are strong, but the dialogue and script needed some help. During the interviews, FBI agents say things that would never come out of an actual agents mouth, some of the victims you see, as hard as they work, sometimes don’t lose themselves in their performances and thus, not appearing as if their lives are in danger at times.
The pacing of the film towards the middle, drives off course and slows down a bit too much, and as a viewer you hit this wall that many can’t recover from, because you’re so used to this steady pace of information, then tape, more interviews, then tape, and it’s when the interviews start getting too long, is when sometimes one may lose interest.
It’s a shame that MGM has no intentions on releasing this film at all, because it’s quite exceptional at keeping up with the mythos of the killer. The images are disturbing, the performances are pretty damn good, and the look and feel of the film is spot on. I only wish it was more tightly edited and the performances felt more genuine. If you’re interested in seeing The Poughkeepsie Tapes, you can find it usually on Youtube or if you’d like, I have a copy if you’re in Missoula. But be warned, it is a difficult viewing and I’m not responsible for any nightmares you have. 7.5 out of 10.
Hmm. Well, I don’t really know where to start. The ABCs of Death is… strange. But that isn’t the end of it. It consists of 26 short films put together by 26 directors. Each director was given a letter of the alphabet and picked a word starting with that letter to use as the subject of a short film. Plot development is non-existent, so I won’t be giving you guys a summary. There aren’t any primary actors either, so I won’t bother listing any. Let’s just dive right in to what works and what doesn’t.
Uhh.. yeah, this section is going to be a bit blank. Sorry guys. I really can’t think of anything that stood out to me. This was not in the least an enjoyable viewing experience. I almost couldn’t sit through this entire movie, I had to pause it a few times to wrap my head around what I just saw. Poison, I tell you. Nothing else to be seen here.
What doesn’t work:
What doesn’t work? Get ready; Nearly EVERYTHING. I was surprisingly appalled at how ridiculous and stupid nearly ALL of the shorts were, and I am generally a pretty accepting guy when it comes to different films. Not only this, but a few of them were downright offensive. I’ll got into depth.
F is for Farts:
Self explanatory. Was Noboru Iguchi a 3rd grader directing this? This was a pretty terrible attempt at comedy, and the horror aspect is just non-existent.
D is for Dogfight:
My feelings are a bit strong here. The short is violent, gory, and uses some decent cinematography techniques. However, I am pretty disgusted when it comes to brutality towards animals. It attempts a conclusion that gives you a sense of justice, but it didn’t really work for me. I found this particularly offensive.
L is for Libido:
Right. This short was pretty disturbing, and I was ready to stop the movie entirely after viewing it. Basically, the first of two confined men to masturbate to ejaculation while observing a given subject is spared, the other is murdered. However, when the two men are shown a young boy on a bed being approached by a large, older man, I about lost my shit.
P is for Pressure:
This short pissed me off in the same way “D is for Dogfight” did. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense entirely, but this may be due to the fact that I had my palm over my face after watching the 15 previous shorts. It ends with a kitten being intentionally crushed under a woman’s stiletto. Yeah, fuck that.
Z is for Zetsumetsu
This short referenced the badass masterpiece Dr. Strangelove and seemed to incorporate some valuable themes. However, it did so while displaying explicit nudity and a hermaphrodite swinging around her gigantic bladed penis. Seriously. What the fuck was Nishimura thinking?
These are just a few examples of the trash that was laid before my eyes. Overall, I felt almost every character and situation wasn’t even remotely believable, which immediately removes any horror aspects from the film. Also, at least one of the shorts seemed to be filmed with a potato (I’m looking at you, Andrew Traucki.) The film and art styles were so inconsistent that it felt like I was watching a playlist of the most garbage excuses for horror comedy put together by 15 year old YouTubers. Granted, with 26 different directors, I don’t know what I expected. I can, however, say with confidence that I would rather watch 2 Girls 1 Cup than view this film again. It is simply incredibly disappointing that with a sample size of 26, not a single one of the short films was remotely enjoyable to me. Every 5 minutes or so I was reminded why I wanted to shut the movie off and burn my computer.
This shouldn’t be very surprising. 1/10. I know it may seem extreme and normally I would say that you must view the film to understand, but please, do yourself a favor and stay as far away from this atrocity as possible. CinematiChris, I despise you for recommending I watch this. I wouldn’t even suggest watching the trailer below. This is one of the worst movies I have watched thus far. I’m done for the day, heh.