Not worth hanging around for
Release Date: OUT NOW!
15 | 81 minutes Directors: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing Cast: Cassidy Gifford, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, Reese Mishler, Alexis Schneider, Price T Morgan
Did you watch The Blair
Witch Project and wish there had been more jumpy, focus- free footage? Did you like Paranormal Activity but hope for an even more annoying, immature character than Micah? Did you see [ REC], but want a lot less invention? Then we have the movie for you!
The Gallows has a backstory much more interesting than its actual plot, with writer/ directors Cluff and Lofing cooking up a two- minute trailer to try to raise funds, putting it online and ending up in the office of Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum. He then helped them turn it into a mini- budget horror that focuses on a new production of a seemingly cursed school play.
We’re shown that, 20 years ago, one of the young actors in The Gallows was accidentally hanged. Now, drama- obsessed Pfeifer ( the cast all use their own first names) is trying to stage it again. But when knock- about jock Ryan and best pal Reese ( in the play because he has a crush on Pfeifer) decide to break in the night before and destroy the set ( along with Reese’s cheerleader girlfriend Cassidy), they soon learn that the tragic events of the original production have left a terrifying supernatural mark.
At least, “terrifying ” is what The Gallows is going for. Unfortunately, the push for reality has led to something that makes the shakier moments of Cloverfield look like a Wes Anderson frame – there are more shots of feet here than in a shoe fetishist video. As for the characters? The minor stabs at building personalities do nothing to help the leads, and it’s all rendered pointless anyway when the screaming starts in the darkened hallways. Decisions are taken using typical horror movie dumb logic ( what’s that scary sound? Best go towards it!) and the sooner directors stop using the Blumhouse standard rumbling undertone to try to ramp up the atmosphere, the better: it’s become one huge cliché. Disappointing and often wretched, The Gallows is a production you’re more likely to want to go full Statler and Waldorf and mock than enjoy.
More shots of feet than in a shoe fetishist video
Never spend too long on a sunbed.