THE GALLOWS aka GALLOWS (2015) Reviews and overview

 

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‘Every school has its spirit’

The Gallows aka Gallows is a 2015 American found footage horror film written and directed by Travis Cluff (an actor in short film Biohazard (Zombie Apocalypse) and Chris Lofing. The Blumhouse production stars Cassidy Gifford, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, Reese Mishler, Alexis Schneider and Price T. Morgan.

A sequel, The Gallows 2, was filmed in secret in 2017 but remained unreleased until October 25th, 2019.

Plot:

Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honour the anniversary of the tragedy—but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone…

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Reviews:

“A mediocre found-footage ghost story about four teenagers who are haunted by the specter of a hangman-obsessed drama nerd, The Gallows is only good enough to make you wish its creators did something novel with its formulaic style, plot, and characterizations.” The Village Voice

“The plot is a collection of contrivances (Oh no, the lights all went out! My cell phone won’t work! I’m running for my life, I’d better keep filming!) and the scares are simple, sudden, stupid shocks. And as usual, the deliberately home-made look robs the movie of any of the things – a thrilling score, evocative camera movements, clever editing – that generally make movies feel like movies.” NJ.com

“ …The Gallows starts with a decent if improbable premise, and it ends with a pretty good jolt. But in between, the film sure wears out the already tired found-footage device.” The New York Times

“This is nothing more and nothing less than a by-the-book handicam spookshow.  But a baseline approach doesn’t dismiss an enthusiastic cast and a smartly-staged camera combining for simple, to-the-point horror entertainment. Implausible and at times illogical, The Gallows is no more so of either than most films of its ilk.” Culture Crypt

” …The Gallows isn’t without a certain amount of atmosphere, it simply feels borrowed wholesale. That would matter less with a better script, but the four main characters are paper-thin even by genre norms.” Variety

” …The Gallows owes more to the slasher movies of the ’80s, with limp corpses falling in front of the camera, a decades old wrongdoing avenged, and a final sequel-baiting twist that doesn’t make the least bit of sense. What it doesn’t share with those movies are inventively staged kills. Once again, horror – that most cinematic of genres – has been reduced to a series of blurry night vision shots of feet.” The Movie Waffler

“Without credible characters, then, The Gallows becomes a horror movie that’s dependent upon creating suspense and building tension, and it doesn’t do either very well. It’s not a complete mess. There are definitely moments that suggest Cluff and Lofing have the instincts to do something fresh and original, but this isn’t it.” Screen Anarchy

” …a pretty bog-standard array of LOUD bumping-into-each-other scares, spontaneously appearing nooses, invisible attackers, slamming doors, one-note characters dragged to their doom and rumbling sound design. The backdrop is pleasingly creepy and the shock ending satisfyingly downbeat but it’s as unremarkable as any number of straight to DVD found footage chillers.” Horrorscreams Videovault

Cast and characters:

  • Reese Mishler as Reese Houser
  • Pfeifer Brown as Pfeifer Ross
  • Ryan Shoos as Ryan Shoos
  • Cassidy Gifford as Cassidy Spilker
  • Price T. Morgan as Price
  • Jesse Cross as Charlie Grimille (1993)
  • Melissa Bratton as Alexis Ross (2013)
  • Alexis Schneider as Alexis Ross / Mary (1993)
  • Theo Burkhardt as Rick Houser (2013)
  • John Tanskly as Rick Houser (1993)
  • Emily Jones as Ryan’s mother
  • Travis Cluff as Mr. Schwendiman
  • Mackie Burt as Cheerleader

Release:

The Gallows was released by New Line Cinema-Warner Bros. on July 10, 2015. The film is currently available via Netflix.

Box Office:

Filmed on a reported budget of £100,000, the film took a whopping $42,964,410 worldwide.

Fun Facts:

The film was originally titled Superstition.

New and future releases