Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “The Gallows” which originally appeared here.
Twenty years after an accident during a school play where high school student Charlie Grimille hung to death after a prop failure, the same school attempts to bring the play back, The Gallows. Now a former football player Reese (Reese Mishler) decides to take the same role. His friend Ryan (Ryan Shoos) hangs around the set during rehearsals just to tease his castmates. Reese’s only reason for being there is because of a crush he has on one of his castmates, a girl named Pfeifer (Pfeifer Brown). When the lead actor starts to have second thoughts, Ryan develops a plan to break into the school the night before the opening night to sabotage the set to possibly create an opportunity for Reese to console Pfeifer. Reese and Ryan are able to convince Ryan’s girlfriend Cassidy (Cassidy Gifford) to go along with their plan but when they run into Pfeifer, the four of them encounter a series of strange paranormal occurrences.
There’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before. I personally though it started off rather slow. This is coincidentally the problem I have with most found-footage horror films. They usually all start off a little boring and then eventually place the main character(s) in any danger. It took a while for this one to really get started as well. I thought the plot was rather predictable and does have some holes but you’re too busy being scared to notice (until it’s over which was when I did). The acting wasn’t that great either. Just a warning, the film is just 81 minutes long and that length did create some problems with me. The film moved with a pretty fast pace which I found unsettling and I wish they could have spent more time explaining certain elements of the plot which were glossed over. I was surprised that this film got an “R” rating since what I saw did not deserve it. There was no blood or gore or any real violence, no swearing, or any boobies whatsoever. With that, the film is made up of mostly jump scares where some are hit or miss. There were fewer of those than I would have liked but I enjoyed the suspense and the atmosphere which was at the expense of those scares. This is achieved with the eerie sound. The fact that it is a found-footage film did hurt it at certain times making it hard to follow what was going on. Most with common sense will be able to predict the plot twist coming at the ending which happens to be the worst part of the film. It is incredibly cheesy and served no purpose when compared to the rest of the film. It creates more questions than it answers. This is probably what they deemed the best thing they could have done with the amount of time they had. Casual horror movie fans will be engaged but die-hard fans will be wanting more. For a decent found-footage film (although an argument could be made that it isn’t), I recommend Unfriended.