A new twist on the found footage genre. Blumhouse’s The Gallows is the movie adaptation of the urban legend that sprung out of the real accidental death of Charlie Grimille at Beatrice High School in Nebraska during a play. This is the type of movie that you already know is going to be built upon the concept of the jump-scare, but it takes the often overly employed plot device and actually couples it with sub-plots and proper pacing. Even for the avid horror film fan, this movie will definitely curdle your blood and send your anxiety level through the roof. Surprisingly, this found footage horror film deviates from some of the most common tropes appropriately associated with this horror sub-genre. Although any substantial narrative and dynamic plot lacks from the film, it still provides thrills, chills, and gasps. You may even find yourself resisting closing your eyes to avoid the horror on screen. Be sure to bring a friend or significant other along if you dare to watch!
The Gallows takes place during the final rehearsals for Beatrice High School’s production of the play The Gallows. Back in 1993, the school produced The Gallows but due to a prop malfunction, the character of August was actually hanged. Ever since then, the school until today, never produced the play again. Despite rumors and alleged sightings of paranormal activity in the school’s theatre, Pheifer (Pfeifer Brown) has decided to spearhead a revival of the cursed show. On the evening prior to the show’s opening, Pfeifer catches her co-star Reese (Reese Mishler), his douchey best friend Ryan (Ryan Shoos), and Ryan’s cheerleader girlfriend Cassidy (Cassidy Erin Gifford) dismantling the set. Unfortunately, this chance encounter inside the theatre, is the beginning of a night of terror and mystery.
Due to the very nature of the essence of a found footage movie, it is the type of movie that should be appreciated for what is it–some good scares for an hour or so. This movie genre is not produced to typify the art of filmmaking; but it’s produced for pure unpleasureable pleasure. So, given the goal of the movie, it was very successful in producing frightening imagery for the eyes and embedding terrifying thoughts in the minds of the audience whilst sticking to a coherent plot. I especially liked how the writers included subplots that underscored the more superficial narrative. This is something that is usually left out of found footage movies. Furthermore, the ending is definitely unique to what is typically expected in this sub-genre.
If you’re a fan of horror films, this is definitely one to check out! Even if you are not fond of found footage movies (as is the case with yours truly), you will still find a great deal of enjoyment in being scared for a short while. For further reading, check out the true story and urban legend that serves as the inspiration for this film. http://www.hauntedhovel.com/beatice-high-school-beatrice-nebraska.html and/or https://supernaturalinvestigations.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/the-charlie-grimille-case-beatrice-nebraska/