‘The Gallows:’ Movie Review

July 11, 2015 1 Comment

There are plenty of good ways to spend 81 minutes of your time. Watching The Gallows shouldn’t be considered one of them. It probably might sound to critical (as I am with majority of the films I watch), but this shouldn’t be seen as an exaggeration. I remember seeing this trailer in theaters and as someone who enjoys horror films — and someone who would love to see more of them in theaters — I thought it looked pretty promising. I supposed this should be a reminder why I shouldn’t set my expectations so high.

The film is so lazy and uninspiring that the names of the characters are the same as the names of the actors who portray them. And I thought this was weird, because it’s not uncommon for an actor(esses) to share the same elements as their character roles, but no. All of the actors and actresses alike have the same name as their character roles, almost as if these actor(esses) were virtually playing themselves.

You have Reese (Reese Mishler) who plays the jock who quit the football team to take up a less action-packed role: Drama. His best friend, Ryan (Ryan Shoos), who is also a jock and rides Reese at every opportunity because he decided to leave the football team for the ‘drama nerds.’ You also have is his girlfriend, Cassidy (Cassidy Gilford), who is also on the cheerleading squad. I’m not really sure what is up with films who cast jocks with girlfriends who happen to be on the cheerleading squad, but this film waste no time being predictable.

You’ll learn a lot watching this film, only because this movie drags on with more than thirty minutes of exposition before it gets to anything good. You’ll learn that Reese is a terrible actor, and yet, somehow landed the lead role in the play, The Gallows, uncoincidentially based on the movie of the same name.

You’ll learn that in 1993, the drama department decided to host the same exact play, in the same exact school on the same exact stage, which ended in disaster. A kid by the name of Charlie was accidentally killed on stage in front of the entire audience. The Gallows, which was supposed to be a prop for the set, hung Charlie where he suffocated to death. Because of this tragedy, no one says the name ‘Charlie’ in the drama department, school, perhaps the entire town (which might suck for anyone who’s real name is actually ‘Charlie.’)

We also learn that the only reason Reese decided to do this play was because he has a crush on an actress in the play, Pfeifer, another actress who shares the same name as her character role (Pfeifer Brown). This couldn’t even be considered a twist, and it’s just one of the many things that are all too predictable in this film. How many times have we heard of guys (usually jocks) doing embarrassing or lame things just to get closer to the girls they like (Home Economics Class, anyone?).

However, the predictable story isn’t the problem. It’s pretty much what you’ve learned to expect with these types of films (first-person camera man view of all the internal events in the film). There is really nothing wrong with these types of films if the filming is done right (e.g. Unfriended; 2015). The problem is that this film is uninteresting and very boring. You go through thirty minutes of a long drawn out set up, only to be disappointed with pitiful jump scares.

And if the jump scares fail to surprise you, then very little, if anything, will accomplish that goal. For an R-rated movie, you would expect the director and screenwriters to go out of their way to elevate the scare meter. Then again, none of the deaths were on screen and you’ve only seen one dead body. How exactly can a film like this be scary, let alone Rated R.

Final Verdict: D

I really wanted to like this film, but I lost my interest around the 45 minute mark. This is probably because they’ve revealed the twist too early, which probably could have waited much later. Aside from this, there is really nothing that can keep your interests in this film.

There is probably a lot that could have gone differently with the plot, but the ultimate problem with these sort of films is that they require complete morons doing stupid things, or else we don’t have a movie to watch.

The cinematography is probably the only thing you can attribute to this movie. Then again, it’s a suspense/horror film. It shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish this. In fact, watching this film reminded me of another horror film that wasn’t very good: Grave Encounters (2011), The plots were very different, but the concept remained the same. The cast and crew becomes locked inside of a building, where paranormal things start happening, and fortunately there’s someone with a camera around to film it all. It wasn’t a great idea then, and it’s not a great idea now.

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