The Gallows: Film Review- Scary, but insipid in sequences

Produced by Jason Blum, who also  produced the Oscar-nominated Whiplash, the film follows a routine storyline, seen in almost every teenage horror film. A group of teens get lost or locked up in a desolated place, with a vengeful spirit lurking in the shadows. This film follows the same.

The Gallows has Reese Houser (Reese Mishler) and Pfeifer Ross (Pfeifer Brown) as leads in a local school drama, who pay homage to the previous production of the drama in 1993. The reason being that a senior, Charles Grimille, who  played the lead, was killed in a horrific accident. Years later, a restless teenager Ryan (Ryan Shoos), convinces Reese to give up the play and sabotage the set. 

The film almost takes 20 minutes to take off, and never really seems to hit the heights of ‘It Follows’, a breakthrough movie in the teen horror genre this year. Whilst ‘It Follows’ had accomplished performances backed by a great score, The Gallows is weak in its execution. The ghost of Charles Grimille continues to haunt the four teens,’locked’ inside the school,  avoiding any sort of horror locales, such as a forest or a dingy cabin.

The film, though is shown entirely through a hand-held camera or a night vision app on a cellphone, and that’s where the genius of cinematographer Edd Lukas lies. In the scenes where the actors are running, the camera work is stunning, accompanied by excellent colour grading of scenes. The scenes look real, with several panic inducing moments nostalgic of the 1999 hit ‘The Blair Witch Project’.  Mishler and Brown are capable as the lead pair, doing what most teens would do in a teen horror flick. Following most clichés in a horror flick, The Gallows would fall in line with the rest, keeping you scared momentarily.

Why You Should Watch This Film ?
The Gallows has a surprising storyline, particularly the end. Screenwriters Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing have cleverly hidden subtle details in the film. With a run-time of 81 minutes, The Gallows is a good one time watch.

By Shlomoh Samuel

 

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