The Gallows is a found footage horror film (apparently) that is based on a high schools production of a show called the Gallows that went horribly wrong when a student, Charlie (Jesse Cross), died by hanging at the performance in front of an audience in 1993.
The story revolves around Reese Houser (Reese Mishler), Pfeifer Ross (Pfeifer Brown), Ryan Shoos (Ryan Shoos) and Cassidy Spilker (Cassidy Gifford) twenty years later. I think the idea was to have the actors play characters with the same name to make the film seem more realistic and go along with the found footage illusion. It failed. Along with the rest of the film.
Reese and Pfeifer are performing in the school’s first performance of The Gallows since the disaster in 1993, Reese playing the same role as Charlie, the boy who passed away. Due to Reese’s bad acting his friend Ryan suggests they sabotage the show so it gets cancelled preventing Reese from getting embarrassed in front of his crush, Pfeifer. Ryan comes up with the idea of entering the high school in the middle of the night through a broken door he discovered earlier that day and destroying the set. Ryan’s girlfriend, Cassidy, insists that she comes along leading to the three of them entering the school and destroying the set. However they discover Pfeifer that conveniently gets out of explaining what she is doing in the high school in the middle of the night.
The story continues with the four of them trapped in the school encountering strange noises and a lot of nothing. There are hundreds of films that have a poor story and filled with jump scares that can make it slightly entertaining however The Gallows doesn’t even have the jump scares. The basic fundamentals of the film don’t make sense and the majority of the story is unclear. Charlie doesn’t provide any scares for the most part, and the character itself is questionable with an unclear and confusing ending, however the film wasn’t being intentionally clever it was just inconsistent and isn’t interesting enough to leave the audience intrigued.
It’s hard to find positives for such a mess of a film. I’ve always believed that horror films are hard to get right and that trailers aren’t a true interpretation of what the film will be like. I’d argue that the best part of The Gallows is the trailer with Cassidy and the red lighting. The story is poor, the acting is poor, the idea has been overused now and it’s time for a change away from found footage.