University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018
EventIt Is True, We Shall Be Monsters: New Perspectives on Horror, Science Fiction and the Monstrous Onscreen - De Montfort University , Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jun 2018 → …

Conference

ConferenceIt Is True, We Shall Be Monsters: New Perspectives on Horror, Science Fiction and the Monstrous Onscreen
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLeicester
Period13/06/18 → …

Abstract

The Poughkeepsie Tapes adheres to found footage horror’s central conceit, in its blurring of fact and fiction, and this paper will examine how this was inadvertently aided by the film’s troubled release, which gave rise to myths that the footage included in the film was real, or at the very least ‘too extreme’ for audiences (Whittaker, 2017).

The Poughkeepsie Tapes was ‘almost’ released in 2007, and although briefly available online, it was not until 2017 that the film could finally be seen by a wider audience through Scream Factory’s Blu-Ray release. This paper will begin therefore by exploring how The Poughkeepsie Tapes occupies a dual space in recent horror genre history, both in the year of its production, and the year of its delayed release, and demonstrate how the film resonates within both contexts.

Using Mark Seltzer’s concept of ‘wound culture’ (2013: 2), this paper will relate The Poughkeepsie Tapes to the recent renaissance of true crime television, and in doing so will elucidate a link between the film and the drive towards capturing the “real” that has been evident in recent popular culture. Additionally, this paper will examine the film’s use of a low-fi VHS aesthetic in its narrative, both evoking nostalgia for the VHS era, and acting as an emulation of what an audience might imagine real snuff footage would look like. Finally, this paper will demonstrate how the film resonates presciently with the emergence of real death websites, which make watching real death an accessible reality online.

ID: 27157726