The Gal­lows

Not worth hang­ing around for

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Cinema - Jim Blakey

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.

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