One movie trope that always gets on my nerves is the way that phones in movies ring as long as they need to, which is usually a totally unrealistic amount of time. I always find myself thinking about the person on the other end of the line. Why would they possibly be letting the phone ring so long? Especially in a situation where a character is in some kind of trouble and they are trying to get to an incredibly long ringing phone and the person that is calling has no idea they are in trouble, that makes no sense. The reason I brought that up is because I honestly believe this movie has the longest ringing phone in movie history.
The Gallows opens up by showing a school play from 1993 that went horribly wrong. In a hanging scene, a prop malfunction caused a kid to actually be hanged on stage. Now, all these years later, the school has decided to do the play again. A couple of jocks who do not want the play to be carried out decide to sneak into the school one night and destroy the set. That is when the terror begins. Oh, and a ghost shows up too.
In a way, I think found footage films get a bad rap. I complain about them as much as anyone, but the truth is I have seen more good ones than bad ones. I understand that studios use them as a cheap and lazy way to make a lot of money, but some have used the found footage gimmick very well. The Gallows is not one of those. At one point, the main character actually says the line, “Why would you even want to film this?” That is ironic because that’s exactly how I felt throughout a good portion of the film. Anytime the guy is not consciously filming for whatever reason the camera just coincidentally happens to be in just the right place to get everything exactly in frame. Also, at one point they introduce cell phone cameras into the mix, which by the very concept of found footage makes no sense. This, along with the strange way they screwed the timeline up led to quite a bit of confusion in the second act.
The first act of the movie relies heavily on humor to make it work. Unfortunately, it is one of the worst attempts at humor I have ever seen in a movie. The guy holding the camera, and thus making most of the jokes, is the most annoying character I can possibly imagine. Also in the first act, we are introduced to just about every clichéd high school character there is, from geeky drama kids to meat head jocks. The movie did not get off to a good start.
The second act is all about the jump scares. I always felt like I was either watching a jump scare or anticipating the next one. If you hate cheap jump scares like I do, this movie is NOT for you. One of the jump scares in particular is so badly executed that you can’t even tell what happened. There is just a really loud noise and a bunch of frantic screaming. That’s not scary. That is annoying. There is one good scene in the movie. Just one, and it is in the trailer…..and on the poster.
The characters in this movie are non-existent. They are just random people running around screaming with a camera and nothing that even closely resembles a personality. The acting is bad, especially Reese Mishler, who plays the main character. Everybody in the movie over-acts all the time.
The ending of the movie is stupid. REALLY stupid. There is a twist at the end that is even more stupid. The ending makes the whole movie make even less sense than it made in the first place, which is not much.
The Gallows insulted my intelligence. I was not in a good mood after sitting through this ridiculous mess of a found footage film. Please don’t go see this. Please do not give these people any more money for making garbage like this. The Movie Man gives it 1 out of 5 stars.
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