If I had a dollar for every found footage horror movie that has hit theaters since “The Blair Witch Project” back in 1999 I would never have to work another day. We’ve had some really solid ones since then, Paranormal Activity was a solid trilogy of films, and the quality really dipped after that third film. Since those films were made for cheap and made hundreds of millions back, you can see why found footage became a trend in Hollywood.
The Gallows is the next one to be pumped out by the studio machine. 20 years after an accident during a school play, students try to bring it back in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragic events. They soon realize that it was a big mistake.
I think releasing this movie was a big mistake. Blumhouse is very good at making a tractor full of money. They make their movies for a quarter, they make a dollar and then you get your money back. I can’t fault them on their business model. This movie could have been so much better. Right off the bat you hate the main character, he’s a complete douche to everyone around him, so why am I going to root for this guy? I want him to get killed off more than anything. The other three characters are just as two dimensional as the main lead Ryan, who has the brilliant idea to tear down the set of a play his best friend Reese has been trying to nail for weeks. For some reason he and Ryan’s girlfriend Cassidy go along with it. I can’t get over how unlikable they are. There’s nothing to rally around here. The only thing is Charlie. You’re waiting for him to come into the picture.
There are jump scares galore here. Not the good jump scares like in Insidious 3 or It Follows, good meaning that there is a loud sound effect, and there’s a scary image behind it. This is your typical loud sound effect with a dude reading a book or playing with the camera.
The two leading ladies are solid, Cassidy Gifford and Phifer Brown are like able actresses but look like goofballs in this movie. The material just didn’t live up to the potential.
There’s a really good twist at the end, that caught me by surprise no doubt, but once you think about it it makes zero sense. The last twenty minutes of this film is when it picks up but then you just are wanting the whole film to be that and it just wasn’t. The first hour was a bore and was hard to get through, the last 20 minutes made the movie watchable. Wait for redbox if you want to check this out. You’ll like the last twenty minutes but other than that you’ll be bored.