The Gallows: Generic Found-Footage Horror
Cassidy GiffordPfeifer Brown...
Chris LofingTravis Cluff
In 1 Cinema
Afraid to take the plunge and introduce something even remotely different to the forever-unchanging world of found-footage horrors, The Gallows is another fruitless and cheap Blumhouse Production ; a movie that unfortunately we’ve all seen a thousand times before.
During a high school stage production of The Gallows, a terrible accident struck; the play’s leading man, Charlie Grimille,(Cross) whose character is sentenced to death by hanging, is accidentally killed for real to the shock and horror of all watching.
Twenty years later, the school –thanks to the persistence and the urging of the drama department’s favorite lead actress, Pfeifer Ross (Brown), is getting ready to bring ‘The Gallows’ back to the stage again to mark the 20th anniversary of Charlie’s death. Cast in the role of Charlie is ex-football star, Reese (Mishler), who only takes the part in order to be closer to Pfeifer;while his best-bud and funnyman, Ryan (Shoos) is there to film the rehearsals.
Naturally, things go wrong very soon when Ryan and Reese decide to break into the school the night before the play, in order to destroy the set so that Ryan – who is not too comfortable about being on stage, won’t have to go on and embarrass himself. Unfortunately for them, the ghost of Charlie is also there to lend them a ‘helping’ hand.
Written and directed by Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, The Gallows— which its creators worked on for a few years, is disappointingly unoriginal and light on the terror. Substituting scares for shocks, the movie – just like any other found-footage horror film out there, is keen on making you jump out of your skin, but never really invests any time or creative effort to get under it.
Strange noises, dark rooms and flickering lights are the tools used to deliver its series of cheap and passing scares and while the effort can be effective at times, it quickly grows irritating and tiresome to care.
Sadly, the cast, starring Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos and Cassidy Gifford also contributes to the movie’s overall disappointment as their lack of talent and inexperience in front of the camera is evident throughout. The dialogue is super-cheesy and its delivery even cheesier; if the creators had decided on a more seasoned and practiced cast, the results might have been a little different.
Overall, there is nothing surprising or terrifying about The Gallows; predictable, dull and painfully by-the-book. Its bag of fears is relatively empty and although, its premise is somewhat worthy of the attention it got, the execution is just too careless and sloppy to make it work.