A few months ago… actually, likely closer to a year ago, some friends and I had a movie night, as we have been inclined to do. We watched The Gallows (2015) and I came away thinking it wasn’t that bad – likely due to the screams coming from my friend Julie who was to my left and my other friend Brandi who was to my right (the rest of us don’t get so… involved in our horror films). However, my previous assessment of the film was trash – utterly falsified trash.
My boyfriend, David, and I rented it… from Movie Network (geez, they get a lot of advertising on here from me!) tonight to rewatch it for specific reviewing purposes.
So the premise of The Gallows… it’s based in a high school around our main character, Ryan, who is a bit of an asshole. His friend Reese is a football player who is also playing the lead in the school’s play which is so aptly named, The Gallows. 20 years previously, the school had attempted to put on the same play with horrific results – the character playing Reese’s character, August, accidentally got hung and tragically died. So anyway, Ryan discovers by happy accident that the stage door is broken and doesn’t lock. This discovery spawns Ryan’s bright idea to break into the school that night and trash the set, ruining opening night. Ryan and Reese, along with Ryan’s girlfriend, Cassidy enter the school and run into the other lead cast member, Pfeifer (yeah, that’s her FIRST name… I was appalled too, and not only that, but it’s the ACTRESS’ first name as well!) and find themselves locked in the dark, creepy school unable to escape.
The plot, I think, sounds pretty intriguing on paper, but the more I watched, the angrier I got at the plotholes, the shoddy camerawork, and the terrible acting. I am a huge fan of found-footage films – there are lots that are more worth your time than this one. It really did have potential, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. There are so many things wrong with the plot, I don’t even know where to begin. For instance, there is constant repetition of the fact that you cannot, under any circumstances, utter the name of the first victim (Charlie) on stage because it’s bad luck, but they never tell you WHY that’s considered bad luck… and it turns out later that the motives of the “ghost” are revenge-based, so why would saying his name be bad luck? It just doesn’t make much sense.
David and I noticed on many occasions very obvious cut and scene changes… it just seemed amateur in it’s execution. The ghastly figure that sometimes appears behind people in scenes is just sort of ridiculous and not that scary, honestly. The characters are unlikeable to begin with, the writing is awful, and the plot (as I’ve previously mentioned) is full of loopholes and sadness.
The saddest part is that it could have been good and it could have been scary, but it just fell flat due to flaws and technicalities (you know, like writing, acting, and camerawork – all the non-essentials for a film to succeed).
Save your money… save your time… watch something else.