Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Gallows, Good Scary Movie/Bad Horror Movie

4 of 8 viewers "Liked" "The Gallows" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Impostor - "Nothing new was brought to the found footage genre by this film. The Gallows leaves you hanging on the fear factor and had major potential but fell short. Annoying characters, predictable in parts, all in all I'd say give it a watch if not in theaters. It's a good rental. I didn't hate The Gallows but didn't love it either." - 3 Stars

KillDozer - "How do you take an over used boring plot and an over used style of shooting and make it worse then expected??? Answer The Gallows!!! To be fair, the writers have potential, this film could have worked much better as a straight forward slasher though. With that being said the "found footage" seemed forced, the over acting was bad and not in a fun 80's B-movie way, and the shaky/fuzzy camera work was sad. The setting was awesome thought! No joke the empty dark school setting works extremely well. The audience in the theatre seemed to enjoy it, leaping out of their seats with every jump scare. So mission accomplished with the casual movie goer but warning to all you seasoned horror nerds SAVE YOUR MONEY AND DON'T BOTHER!!" - 2 Stars (for effort)

Huntress - "Everything about The Gallows sounded very promising and original, which is hard to come by in this age of remakes. It definitely did some things right and had whole scenes that kept me really tense, but it also had a lot of cliche eye-rolling blemishes throughout. The Gallows squashed just about all of the suspense that it had built up ." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "The scene used for the trailer was not only amazing, it was the best scene in the film." - 3 Stars

B4DK - "Yes, it could have been worse... Definitely made me laugh (in a bad way) but did have its share of good jumps. I like found footage movies, however, story-wise this was wack from beginning to end. Entry level found footage." - 2 Stars

Ice Giant - "The Gallows was definitely very average... I don't know how else to describe it. Wasn't good enough for me to really get into it and I am a person who loves found footage... But it also wasn't horrible it had its moments. Talked with B4DK and KillDozer and I agree it would have been way more awesome if it was a slasher." - 2.5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

At the time we saw The Gallows it had 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, it now has 15%. I think people like to lash out against found footage because it's ultimately a narrative that works despite being in-your-face silly. Paranormal Activity made an audience scream by showing a door close on its own and the first time you see that you can relate with your own experiences of strange happenings, things you thought you heard in your house but probably didn't.
The problem with found footage films like The Gallows, isn't that the movie didn't work (the girls sitting behind us were proof it does), it's that they are still reworking the same scares. The first instance of *sigh* paranormal activity in The Gallows, is a locker opening and slamming shut on its own. The film features an awesome looking ghost who sneaks a noose around your neck, so why does this evil spirit even bother playing pranks?
After the film ended, KillDozer said he thought the lights would come on in the audience to illuminate the nerds sitting together laughing. The more I thought about this, the more awesome it became. The idea that Pfeifer was "acting" throughout the film to get some lame revenge for some kids highschool girlfriend is insulting. But when the revenge is for 4 years of torture exacted by the douche with the camera the whole movie and the nice guy is just a conduit, things get a little complicated. Reese choosing to save Pfeifer's life over his own, in the nerd scenario, would have really felt evil and the audience dirty. The best part about the alternate Overlook nerd ending is that they were all stage hands from the beginning, so all the lame scary ghost things couldn't realistically be explained but I would've bought that they pulled it all off with FX tricks. The ghost angle is just more of the same stuff we get all the time.
I will end this on a positive note by saying I absolutely loved the imagery of Charlie floating around holding a noose. I honestly think if the film had just been about Charlie as a ghost slasher it would have been awesome and who knows, we might have had another classic horror character on our hands... Sequel maybe?

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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