The Gallows


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Gallows
"There is only one word to describe this: "Ahhh!!!""

A DIY horror ghost story, shot in The Blair Witch style of handdropped jumpoolery, lacks the tiniest hint of subtlety. Sir A Hitchcock, master of suspense, would be turning cartwheels in his grave if he knew how his craft has been abused.

The plot ricochets between incompetence and absurdity. Even attempting an explanation short circuits intelligence.

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Twenty years after a student is hanged (by mistake) on stage in a high school costume drama an anniversary production of the play is about to be performed. On the eve before the opening night the teenage cast attempts to sabotage the set for reasons that are not made clear.

Their actions stimulate the usual screamathon response - loud crashes, lights going out, characters being slaughtered, pitch darkness, camera all over the place, dodgy acting, patchwork script.

There is only one word to describe this: "Ahhh!!!"

Although close to the slasher genre of Friday 13th et al, writer/directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing are more influenced by Cloverfield, or even Rec, the best of the give-a-video-camera-to-any-old-bloke chillers.

Being influenced and being on top of your game are two different things. These guys have sold out to an eight-year-old's sensory palate - spooky silence, big bangs, shot of feet running, blackness, shouting, flicky lights, spectres in shadow.

The camerawork - cameranotwork more like - is annoying enough. Couple that with squealing girls and ineffectual boys and you have the excitement of a bleeding dinosaur in a pit of offal.

Student productions can be embarrassing. The Gallows goes further. The recesses of Cringe contain mind altering chemicals, resulting in zombiesque tendencies that destroy critical faculties and leave their victims addicted to garbage.

Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2015
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Students find themselves under threat.
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