Film Review – The Dark Tapes (2017)

Title – The Dark Tapes (2017)

Director – Michael McQuown and Vincent J. Guastini (feature debuts)

Cast – David Banks, Emilia Ares Zoryan, Jonathan Biver, Sara Castro, Heather Compton

Plot – A multi-episode horror feature that includes mouldings of sci-fi, thrills and chills in segments that combine together to create The Dark Tapes.

“You’re not crazy. This is very real”

Review by Eddie on 02/05/2017

Just when you think the found footage horror genre might be heading for a recession of sorts on the back of some rather forgettable outings over the last 5 or so years, along comes yet another finely tuned example of why the sub-genre took off in the first place, this time in the form of impressive independent filmmakers Michael McQuown’s and Vincent J. Guastini’s The Dark Tapes.

A collection of individually themed episodes, linked between a continuing component that occurs before each new event (or dark tape), The Dark Tapes follows on from films like the VHS series or Tales From Halloween before it to keep things fresh and coming at a steady pace by never allowing it’s episodes to linger on too long to make sure the audience feels like they’re on their toes as to what’s waiting for them around the corner.

As is to be expected from films of this nature, not every episode hits a home run and McQuown (who directs all bar one of the films segments) can at times be accused of overusing effects such as audio crackling or on screen tampering to enhance the whole “found footage” vibe but when The Dark Tapes hits it hits hard and there are some memorably horrific and macabre moments in the film that suggest McQuown is a name to watch closely for those horror aficionado’s.

Episodes in particular that include a family haunted in their home by a nefarious presence or a smartly constructed web cam show turned bad feel tightly and effectively constructed by McQuown, who eschews his small budgeted roots to deliver some disturbing and effective chills, providing a stark reminder as to why found footage provides such a great jumping off point for those working under right budget constraints.

In a genre that has been defined by those that have started with minimum funds to deliver classics of the field (the likes of Tobe Hooper, Sam Raimi and Rob Zombie), it’s great to see another start-up like McQuown appear on the scene and it’s likely Hollywood has taken notice of the wins McQuown manages to have within The Dark Tapes.

Final Say –

The Dark Tapes is a multi-award winning independent horror that genre enthusiasts should certainly track down. Filled with some impressive twists and some uniquely grisly moments, McQuown’s low budget effort is one of recent times best found footage efforts and a nice calling card for a director who clearly has the tools required to become a key player in the horror film landscape.

3 keen to be involved children out of 5

To find out more about The Dark Tapes and where you can rent/purchase the film visit –

3 responses to “Film Review – The Dark Tapes (2017)

  1. I reviewed this for 1428 Elm. I really enjoyed it as well. However, I felt Cam Girls was one of the weakest segments. To me, if these women make their living tantalizing folks on the internet we need more cayenne and less vanilla. It wasn’t believable. I also had a problem with one of the larger FX. I felt that wasn’t done as well as it could have been. Great review!

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