After seeing the much talked-about mockumentary The Poughkeepsie Tapes at this year's Tribeca, I had a chance to speak with John Dowdle, the film's director. We did the interview by phone, and I may have also been in the presence of his brother and collaborator Drew Dowdle -- the two are making their bones in the business as 'The Dowdle Brothers' -- but if that's the case, he didn't really make himself known and I don't know that he piped up to answer any of my questions. If he wants to contact me to correct, he can. John and I talked about a number of subjects, including the making of the film, the reception at Tribeca, the current atmosphere for horror films in general, and what's up next for the brothers. If you haven't seen the film yet, the less you know going in the better, so you might want to hold off reading reviews and interviews until afterwards. But otherwise, here's our talk -- enjoy.
Did you guys actually go to Tribeca with the film this year?
JD: Absolutely, absolutely.
I saw it at a public screening on Wednesday night, and the audience seemed to respond to it pretty well.
JD: Yeah, it's gotten a great reaction. We've really had a wonderful time here, with the film. The audiences really seem to connect with it.
I think a lot of the audience, at least at my screening, didn't really catch on that it was a faux documentary until that last scene.
JD: Honestly, we really struggled very hard to make everything as realistic as we possibly could, and obviously as the film goes on. The killer stuff is super realistic, very clean realism. And as it goes, it gets more and more surreal. We figured we would have earned that, later in the film, but we struggled very, very hard to keep everything as absolutely realistic as we could. We've actually had reviewers not realize its fictional until the Q&A.