THE DARK TAPES (written, directed and edited by Michael McQuown) is a found-footage horror anthology film, consisting of four short “tapes” from various years. “To Catch A Demon” (directed by Vincent J. Guastini), “The Hunters And The Hunted”, “Cam Girls”, and “Amanda’s Revenge”.
Here’s a breakdown of the shorts:
In TO CATCH A DEMON, we are introduced to the concept of ghosts and demons living in a different time dilation, congruent with the time dilation we experience in REM sleep. After the professor (David Rountree), his assistant (Courtney Palm), and their cameraman (Matt Magnusson) set up a high speed camera to catch the phenomenon, they aren’t prepared for the events that unfold. Be careful what you wish for.
CAM GIRLS was a personal favorite of mine. Emilia Ares Zoryan plays Caitlin, a girl who’s moved away from her religious upbringing back home, and found herself having a girlfriend and making big bucks as a webcam performer. The only problems she’s having, are the glaring gaps in her memory as she blacks out almost every night. I won’t spoil too much of it for you here, as it’s one of the shorter segments. Just know this: it’s got bisexual cam girls with sinister, esoteric ulterior motives and a good amount of gore.
THE HUNTERS AND THE HUNTED unfolds like a standard episode of Ghost Hunters or the like, following a couple (Shawn Lockie and Steven Zimpel) who have moved into a new, eerily fully-furnished mansion. Unfortunately, their ethereal roommates are causing a bit of trouble. Enter the paranormal investigators, looking for their big case, hoping this will be the one. At some point, things start to go screwy, even for a ghost hunt.
AMANDA’S REVENGE tells the story of Amanda (Brittany Underwood) who, on the night of her grad school graduation party, is drugged and taken to a bedroom in the house by two disgusting guys. Her friends realize what is happening and save her, beating up the perpetrators in the process. Her life takes a dangerous turn afterwards, due to different reasons than you’d expect. Is she just having a hard time processing her trauma, or is there really a threat she’s running from?
This film definitely focuses more on concepts and build up than outright scares. Bordering on sci-fi and thriller at points, there are definitely some interesting concepts at play. While it hasn’t found a distributor yet, the film has toured on the festival circuit. If you’re into anthologies, found footage, and paranormal research, keep an eye out for THE DARK TAPES.