The Movie: 6/10
I like a good scare. It’s hard to come by at my age, and with so many horror movies and stories in my head. I mean, once you know all the tricks you are harder to give a fright. A movie like The Hallows doesn’t scare me, unfortunately, but it does have its moments of “SHIT!” and I appreciate that. It’s the story that doesn’t capture me much. I don’t fully understand the force that’s at work in this high school, which muddies the waters of being able to be afraid of what may come. If what may come is not scary because I don’t know what the hell it is, well, you know what I’m saying.
A kid is tragically hung during a play in 1993, and now we have some kind of revival of this play. Right, so you are doing a play that killed a kid 20 years ago and that seems to make sense? No. No school would EVER redo a play that a kid got killed on stage during. No way, know how! This is where I get my first “ugh” feeling about the story. Then we meet all the modern teenagers, annoying and annoying and another annoying, which makes me want them to have something terrible happen to them so the scares will be welcome if they do come. We have the cast who are good enough. I particularly liked Cassidy Gifford, she convinced me more than the others that she was terrified. As for everyone else, they were functional and they all did what typical horror flick disposable characters do.
The special effects are pretty good, what there is of them. It’s mostly about sudden scares and faces behind someone all of a sudden and more in camera stuff that drives the atmosphere of The Gallows. The vibe of the high school at night and all the hidden places they go, that kind of got to me. I imagined being in my old high school (now gone from being so old and decrepid) after dark and yes, that would be scary for a teenager for sure. I would not want to be alone in the dark with all the strange sounds and the wind blowing or whatever. It would have freaked me out back in the day. Now, I would be more stimulated than scared, but I get the idea, a school in the dark is freaky.
I still can’t get away from the fact that this story does nothing for me. The spirit or the entity or whatever it is that is terrorizing the school is doing it for revenge? Is it the boy who died, or is it something more evil lurking? Did he die from an accident or did an entity kill him during that play so that 20 years later it could come back and scaring some folks? Is it contained to the school? Is it a threat to all of civilization? Yea, these things bug me. I’m not always in need of a full explanation of things in my creepy movies, but this time there was too much missing to make full sense of it all.
As for having moments of jumping a bit and taking a deep breath, The Gallows doesn’t register with my “This one needs to be on the yearly roster of Halloween movies” senses. It’s fine for a Friday night flick fest, just get some others mediocre teenagers in danger movies to go with it and you’ll have a good time.
- The Gallows The Original Version (81 Minutes) – The original cut of the film which is surprisingly similar to the Hollywood version. One of the main differences is Cassidy is replaced with a different girl, it makes the whole thing feel a little off.
- Surviving The Noose (17 Minutes) – Jason Blum sits down with Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing to discuss the directing and creation of the film.
- Charlie Every School has It’s Spirit (10 Minutes) – The filmmakers in full self praise mode discuss the creation of the Hangman enemy from the film.
- Deleted Scenes – A few deleted scenes and a couple of different endings.
- Gag Reel – Falling down and flubbed lines, hilarity ensues or does it?
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Good. I like it. I won’t have it as a poster but that’s because I am not in love with the movie.
Audio & Video: 6/10
The Gallows is a low-budget POV style horror film that will obviously not look as good as the latest summer blockbuster by design. Warner have made the most of the badly lit situations the film puts itself in and come up with an average transfer. Presented in 1080P using the AVC codec The Gallows looks sterile and very digital, I assume that is by design but sometimes it looks kinda fake and a bit too high quality considering it is supposed to be all filmed on a phone. Aside from that fine detail is high and flesh tones etc are spot on, a lot of the film takes place in the dark or using night vision so it’s really hard to give it a fair rating.
Audio is terrific though with plenty of loud noises that will make you jump out of your seat. You can choose Dolby Atmos or Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and both tracks are excellently detailed with spot on precision. Vocals are prioritized and surround sound is used for ambient scares, don’t expect to much ambient sound though this is a low-budget shocker after all.
Overall Score 6/10