‘The Gallows’ – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 7 out of 10
Synopsis: 20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but soon discover that some things are better left alone.
Our Thoughts: ‘The Gallows’ is another found footage film, however this one takes an original spin and blends slasher with the hand held style story telling.
The film starts with the footage from 1993 of a teenager named Charlie Grimille being killed on the set of a school play when he is hung for real during a performance of ‘The Gallows’. Then it skips forward in time, to twenty years later, with a new class is rehearsing for the same play. An incredibly annoying and obnoxious football player, Ryan, is filming the rehearsals and bothering his football player friend Reese.
The set up for the story is pretty standard, but the teenagers, particularly Ryan, were more annoying than in most horror films. There are some cheap jump scares early on as well. However, the story begins to get very interesting when the teens go to the school after hours, planning to destroy the set of the play, and end up locked inside by a supposedly broken door. As they begin to hear weird noises and unexplained things start happening, they realize that they are being held there by a supernatural presence.
The effects are what you would expect for found footage, and they did a good job with creepiness and building tension. I really liked the story itself, and the whole ‘Charlie’ and his noose thing. Mixing a slasher story with the hand held film style gives something new to the found footage genre. I honestly would like to see this developed into a Charlie film series, much like other slasher villains have.
My only real problem with the film was the overly annoying character of Ryan. That being said, Ryan Shoos excellently portrayed an annoying football player. Pfeifer Brown also gave a great performance as the female lead in the play, Pfeifer Ross. Reese Mishler gives a genuine performance as the unfortunate Reese Houser. Most critics are rating this film very poorly, however for found footage, I think it does have something to offer. Shameless genre fans like myself will enjoy ‘The Gallows’ and should check it out.