Let’s get on stage.
I thought that I had reviewed the first Gallows film but ended up being wrong. Instead of providing a traditional recap, I think that you should watch a dog take a dump. While doing so, consider the idea that time is continuously reducible, meaning that we can measure time in such a way that there is no present. Or, perhaps past, present, and future are colliding all at once around us, which means you’ll have watched a dog take a crap beyond the normal conception of time at the request of a moron on the internet. However, it is time better spent than watching these movies.
At its core, The Gallows is about a play that is haunted after one of the actors dies during a hanging scene. In the first, we follow a group of high school students who choose to reenact the play and shit goes wrong. In the second, we follow a high school student who tries to reenact the play and shit goes wrong.
We have annoying characters in both movies. While there are some plot differences the films are ostensibly the same thing. Why they chose to make this one a franchise is something I don’t understand. I guess horror movies for drama kids is a new subgenre or something.
The film begins with what I’m going to start calling the cannon fodder introduction. Where instead of starting with the characters and plot we give a cheap kill of a couple folks who eventually become somewhat relevant again. What sucks about this sort of introduction is that we as the audience are always trying to invest with something when we see it, and when it ends up being a rug pull, we have wasted our time.
Annoying characters written in annoying ways makes me wonder how much of this film is based on committee findings to simply crank out a production as quickly as possible to make a cheap buck. It is kind of funny to think of this as being written by a computer as so much of the narrative involves haunted technology.
I find the social media angle in some recent horror movies kind of dumb. Now, I recognize that this just might be where the genre is going to head with new technology, but I think we can do better. It does seem that a lot of horror movies ignored the cell phone revolution, and now they’re a staple of the genre. I guess social media will be, too.
However, the reason for the haunting is an attempt to get more YouTube views. Kind of an odd structure to a movie. Auna, our hero, is desperate for fame and thinks that YouTube is the path to Broadway stardom. Not sure if that is the case in real life…
We have another Blumhouse film that serves at best as a cookie cutter horror film that feels like it was made about ten years ago. Flat characters and a glacial plot aren’t helped by lackluster directing and poor lighting. The film has the standard Blumhouse shine, so the production looks fine, but everything feels so lifeless. The whole thing feels like a movie set instead of a real setting, which is odd because I don’t think we are filming on closed sets here.
The narrative itself is not inherently creepy as there are so many specific steps to have this haunting occur. (Actually, the film seems to break its own rules as people not involved with the reading of the play are targeted, which is stupid and should have been explained). Even the twist at the end falls flat and preposterous. To make up for the lack of anything scary, they opt for cheap and widely telegraphed jump scares instead.
Overall, this is a profoundly unscary and poorly written horror film. Absolutely skip this one.