Hoyts Highpoint, 23/07 9:00pm
Running time: 81m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Supernatural themes and violence)
Release date: 23/07/15
Cost: $5.00 (Optus Rewards and Hoyts Rewards)
Rating: 5.5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 3/5)
When the drama class at Beatrice High School stage a production of The Gallows, spooky things start to happen around the school. Could it have anything to do with the production 20 years earlier that resulted in cast member Charlie being hanged during a performance? I know, right; totes awkies. Football jock Reese (Reese Mishler) has the lead role opposite drama nerd Pfeifer (Pfeifer Brown), but when he gets cold feet about the performance his friends Ryan (Ryan Shoos) and cheerleader Cassidy (Cassidy Gifford) suggest sneaking into the school at night to trash the set. Once inside the teens find themselves trapped and pursued by a mysterious presence hellbent on revenge.
The Gallows is a found footage horror film that relies on a narrow field of view, shadows and sound to imply suspense and create tension. Yes, the teens look like they're 30. Yes, the character who is serious about drama is (ironically) the worst actress in it. Yes, there's little new ground broken here. Although the first 20 minutes is quite slow, The Gallows soon finds its pace once the teens break into the school. There are some very scary moments here along with some creepy imagery. What isn't seen is almost as scary as what is seen. Perhaps a larger cast would allow for more variety in the gruesome departure of characters (isn't that one of the reasons to see horror films?) but it was an enjoyable though not completely satisfying experience.