I feel like right after The Blair Witch Project came shuffling into theaters in all it’s shaky-cam, “I threw away the map” glory, every studio just hired robots to make a million found-footage horror films so they could slowly insert them into the marketplace for the next ten decades. Just a feeling.
If The Blair Witch Project (or any of its oddly shaped kin) is like someone shooting a pistol filled with fear bullets at you, The Gallows is like one of those giant machine guns on the bottom of helicopters that just explodes the side of glass buildings in action movies. Because this is ostensibly a film review, I’ll briefly write what I think the plot of this film is: a bunch of kids who hate acting decide to break their high school drama club’s set the night before the big show. Aw shucks! But once they are there a Ghost-Actor with a thing for hanging motherfuckers decides it’s time to lock some doors and commence with a whole lot of strangling. Honestly, The Gallows has a plot (if you call writing down words on a page a plot) and it has characters (if you call people who talk and then die characters) but seriously, it doesn’t fucking matter. Not a lick. This is literally a found-footage movie where all of the narrative arc has been excised in favor of two hours of jump-scares. Loud music, horrified screaming, things coming out of the darkness – yessir, for two full hours. It’s like being tazed in the chest repeatedly for two hours. If you have heart problems you shouldn’t watch this movie. I mean it, it should have a warning on it so old people with a yen for shitty movies don’t go to this film and then have massive coronaries. And you know, if you can get over the fact that this film has entirely unlikeable character, a plot that hinges on enormous canyons of belief suspension, and the ability to literally kill people with health issues – it’s actually pretty fun in that attaching electrodes to your jibbly bits sort of way.
Well, if these films aren’t going to stop being made, I like the idea that they’ll just be shorn down to nothing but their basest elements.