The Gallows (2015)
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Starring: Ryan Houser, Pfiefer Ross, Ryan Shoos, Cassidy Spilker
Summary: Years after a freak accident involving a student named Charlie accidentally being hung during a play, the school decides to do the play again and hopefully finish it to honor Charlie. However, this creates a shit storm of a cause and effect reaction.
My Thoughts: Putting a trap door on a set where someone is supposed to act out getting hung wasn't a good idea in 19-Whatever. 20 years later, it still isn't.
Contrary to belief, this movie doesn't in any circumstances involve the #CharlieCharlieChallenge. The directors decided to hop on a bandwagon that conveniently boosted their popularity. The crappy part is that I wanted to see this film because of the connection and I was highly disappointed to see that they weren't related at all. Strike one for the Gallows.
While this movie is the typical paranormal, found-footage type film and I didn't really like anything about it, I did actually enjoy the acting. Most people hated it because they thought it was terrible, but to me, they acted just like teens. This is how teens behave. We carry around cameras 24/7 to record every aspect of our lives, maybe not actual point and shoot cameras, but our phones. The Gallows was engaging to watch, yes, for the acting (although that maybe because I love teen-y, campy movies), but the plot fell flat.
Strike Two: Plot hole City. I had so many questions after leaving the theater? I'm not going to go into specific details, but at one point the main character's father is brought into the story. Not his actual character because it was just a bunch of these teens locked in the school, but he's mentioned and then you're like: "Ooooooooooooooooh." Then it's never mentioned again even though it's central to the plot. And another thing is that if you're going to mention they're parents, introduce them more! During these teen-like movies you tend to forget that they have parents because they're never around and aren't talked about, but if you mention them and they play a huge role in the plot, it would make sense to introduce them, right? Not only that, but the reasoning behind everything is just weak. I didn't comprehend the ending at all and overall, I was left confused. And as I stated beforehand, IF SOMEONE IS ACTING OUT BEING HUNG, YOU WOULD THINK TO BUILD A CLOSED PLATFORM OR JUST NOT HAVE A TRAP DOOR WHERE THEY'RE BEING HUNG, RIGHT? AND YOU WOULD THINK THAT THEY WOULDN'T USE THE SAME SET THE NEXT TIME THEY PUT ON THE PRODUCTION? Or is that just me?
The lack of explanation and just dumb, obvious goofs in the film just did it for me. But, onto another thing that upset me about the film.
Strike Three. Jump scares. This movie was 95% jump scares and 5% anything other scares. However, during some of those non jump scares, I was actually scared. During one point towards the end, one of the girls was lying on the ground and you see this shadow creeping towards her and I'm grabbing my popcorn bucket like: TURN AROUND. PLEASE. PLEASE. In my opinion, that's a good scare, but because that was like the only time I actually felt fear, I'm going to have to give them another strike. Jump scares are not technically "scares", they're a cop out to make anyone feel startled because they have nothing else going for them. The whole seeing people being hung was creepy, so there's that, but again. It either relied on that or the jump scares, making them very, very cheap.
However, besides the acting and the three times I was scared during the movie, I liked the homage to Sinister towards the end. Charlie or whatever he was supposed to be popped out at the end towards the camera like the creature from Sinister, it was a nice touch, but I would've rather not seen Charlie. Again, it spoiled the movie for me, but the idea of it was a nice touch.
So, The Gallows was a bit of the same ole, same ole from the horror, paranormal genre and you shouldn't waste your money on seeing this in theater because it isn't worth it. A few nice scares here and there, but nothing about it stands apart from anything we've seen before, so wait for Netflix or even for it to appear on demand. Three strikes and you're out, The Gallows.