Posted July 20, 2015 by editor in Film Reviews

The Gallows Review


Found footage films have been around since Cannibal Holocaust, a decent but cheap way to make a film from the perspective of the main character, and their friends, who is filming the events of the film as it happens, it being called found footage, usually (always) in the horror genre because from the start of the film you are informed that what are about to watch is from events which happened in blah and blah, with blah blah, to basically try to scare you.

What was always so good about this films 15 or 12 years ago was that you didn’t see what was actually happening, grainy images and partly record in night vision, which blink and you’ll miss it scares but for actually they were decent and scary.

The Blair Witch being the original leader of the trend, a story of a bunch of dislikable American teens going out into the wood to find the Blair Witch and basically being frightened to death and killed off one by one and the recorded footage being found under a log in the forest, for a while, pre-wide spread interest, people actually believed this was real, it actually happened, even the film makers tried to play it and tried to make it out that it was real, even making a documentary playing up the whole story of the Witch in the woods.

That, 16 years ago, was interesting, the idea of people filming their own deaths and you feeling as frightened as them as it all happened in front of. 2015, however, the found footage idea is dead in the water, part of this can be blamed on films like Paranormal Activity, which the first was good, and every film after made no sense and simply spawned meme and far worse bad comedy films around it (Scary Movie et al). Nowadays it harder for audience to all be accepting of found footage, in a time when social media and selfies are King, there isn’t much that can scare people. Films like Troll Hunter work well because despite it being a silly story it was well shoot and the effects from the recorded footage worked and the storyline was different and worked.

The Gallows is a film that 13 years ago would have worth watching, but sadly everything in it lacks, its not unique, its not scary, its not well done and every character in it not worth worrying about. Watching the film, you hope the best, try to think its going to be really sinister and dark, as the teaser that was released really made it seem, it was going to be gory and dark, people being trapped and being struggled to death in the dark alone for no reason, instead the film tried to make itself more than it is, with a uninteresting back story of why students at a small High School town want to redo a play that was done some 18 years earlier, called The Gallows, where one of the students, funnily enough, actually died by the gallows in front the whole student body.

Where The Gallows fails so badly is that is does the typical aspects of a bad horror film, the characters do stupid moronic things, which you know is going to be the cause of the story straight away, the characters, as usually, are annoying and living or dead you don’t care about them and by the end of it you think what was it all about to begin with?


This film doesn’t have much effort put into it. The actors, young as they are, will survive this film but it really just another found footage film,  if it was actually shot and filmed like a standard horror as a filmed and edited, then it may well have been decent but found footage, even with actors that can pull off terrified and scared well, its never really convincing, for all the screaming that a girl and boy can do, for the running and the shaking camera, it just loses all the worth of film with purpose and actual scare.

One thing The Gallows does, which is different but annoying, is try to piece together the events of the film via the main camera being recorded by the annoying student boy and the other characters cell phones, which is more annoying than interesting because all actually shows more of what happens to one character and really isn’t worthwhile, there dead, move on, next soon-to-die-annoying-teenager and shows that basically using the film aspect of your iPhone rather than just the built in torch is so what a teenage will do.

Because this was a film with two newish directors, who wrote and produced it, I think that there was a more worthwhile intention and even to try and make a series of films around the story but it really not original and just lacks in so much that recommending wise it couldn’t be.

This film though will produce more than likely sequels, because despite how bad it is, it’s done well financially in America and will spawn a backstory and more silly storylines.


1 Star




Antonia McGuire