In a couple of Reddit threads over the years, I’d seen The Dark Tapes recommended a few times. For the life of me, I can’t understand why. I had to eat an entire box of blueberry cheesecake pretz just to stay awake to finish it. And I’m a night person.
I don’t think I’ve ever been bored by a horror film, and I’ve watched both lots of no-budget trash as well as slow-paced classic-era (but not classic in quality) horror. And I know that boredom, like enjoyment of art, is subjective, but I found myself painfully, irritably sensing my patience for this film’s 105-minute runtime rapidly diminish. This is TOO long for an anthology with so many static cameras, and there are too many static cameras for a found-footage film. Both of these things don’t so much as sap tension out of scenes so much as hungrily pump them out so it just becomes a collection of scenes of Skinny White People Doing Unbelievably Stupid Things.
(On that note: there is a lone POC but she’s given a handful of lines and the segment’s main character bizarrely singles her out as someone with which she doesn’t want to share her predicament. There’s also an absolutely stupid fucking inaccurate claim that the word for alcohol is derived from an Arabic word for ‘ghoul’ when Arabs FAMOUSLY DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL, you cretinous fucking imbeciles.)
The r/im14andthisisdeep edgelord title refers to a wannabe-viral Creepypasta-type urban legend anthology in which these ‘tapes’ were found that collectively prove the existence of otherworldly beings that know we’re ‘close’ to discovering them, which would be Very Oh No. The segments themselves are a mixed bag of mediocre and/or predictable with terrible effects: a married couple hire ghost investigators in their middle-class rental; two cam girls do cam girl things in some incel-written bullshit and are mean because Women Bad; then there’s Aliens Prefer Blondes, and I don’t even care anymore, but it’s sandwiched by segments of a lame exercise of telling-not-showing rooted in the same kind of stoner pseudo-science that the Nice Guy at the party in the Rick and Morty shirt is harassing you into listening to. God fucking help us. The only thing I can recommend is Shawn Lockie (the wife in the ghost hunter segment), whose performance deserves a better film, although the segment itself did take an interesting turn.
I guess if you loved Unfriended and the Slender Man movie, you’ll probably adore this.