Star Rating:

The Gallows

Directors: Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff

Actors: Cassidy Gifford, Pfeifer Brown

Release Date: Friday 17th July 2015

Genre(s): Horror

Running time: 80 minutes

Found footage horror is officially done. We've seen every possible variant of it. We've seen the 16mm version, we've seen the CCTV version, we've even seen one done in a computer screen. The sub-genre just doesn't seem to want to go away, does it? Why? Because it's ridiculously cheap to make and people, for whatever reason, still seem to turn out for them.

The Gallows represents the lowest form of found-footage horror. Twenty years ago, a school in Middle America puts on a play that ends with a student dying on stage that's attributed to a simple accident involving a hangman's noose and a gallows. Hence the title of the film. If you think that's lazy, you've seen nothing yet. Set in current day, the school has inexplicably decided to put on the play again with a new cast of students who are eager to put the past behind them. In the cast is Reese (Reese Mishler) and drama queen Pfeifer (Pfeifer Brown), who have a burgeoning relationship. Reese, who's on the sports team, is uneasy about taking part in the play because he can't act. He can't act in the film, either. Hisjock friend Ryan (Ryan Shoos) and his girlfriend Cassidy (Cassidy Gifford) come to him with a plan that'll see him escape making a fool of himself onstage. Thrash the stage, make it look like a break-in and he won't have to take part.

Once they break in at night, they find Pfeifer who - FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, HINT - is in the school with them and urges them to leave before they're caught. But they can't get out because someone is stalking to them.

The Gallows is easily one of the worst films of 2015. It has little or no value as a horror and can't even work up enough of an atmosphere to make you feel tense or any way frightened. It simply sits on screen, going through the motions, clearly signposting when the next cheap jump-scare will be. Honestly, watching the film, it was like watching an extended Scooby-Doo episode. Bunch of kids running around a haunted house. Utterly unconvincing ghost chasing them. Very predictable finish. All it needed was a Great Dane dog that could talk.

There is literally nothing we can say about The Gallows in the form of praise. It's uninspired, lacking in any kind of originality. The acting's universally terrible, the camerawork just gives you a headache and the not-even-a-little-bit shock ending will just leave you angry for wasting eighty minutes of your life. How it took TWO DIRECTORS to make this film is unbelievable. How anyone took a look at it, considered backing it with money and then releasing it out into the public thinking that people might like it really does baffle us. Is the bar set that low?

Avoid at all costs.