The Gallows

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while/I think my friends wanted to see this, I’ll have to go and smile.

Friends that did like “Sinister”…I got a little gold.

That Coke and popcorn is expensive, my dear friends

But I bought it with The Gallows show.

But I wish something could’ve kept me, from going to The Gallows show.

Robert Plant/Josh Board

I missed the press screening for this film, but had a few horror movie friends that were bugging me to see it. As a movie critic, I figured I should be covering everything anyway; and the last horror movie surprised me with a few good scares.

This low-budget production is in the style of “found footage” (think Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity). That means you’ll have to deal with a shaky camera and a lot of jump-scares that mostly just scare your eardrums.

For those in the know, this is another Blumhouse Productions, and they’re churning these horror flicks out. This one is from a pair of unknown writer/directors (Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing), and was made for a mere $100,000. Since it’s a horror movie, it made the money back (over $12 million as I write this).

I won’t discuss all the plot holes, just the first one. A high school in 1993 did a production of “The Gallows” and a snafu on stage caused one of the actors to be hanged in real life. So it’s strange that 20 years later the school thought it would be a good idea to do the same play. I don’t blame the principal for not knowing that a phantom of the opera type creature would kill off the kids, but wonder why the town wouldn’t be in an uproar over it. The only adult that seems bothered is the father of a football player who quit the team.

As a teenager, I remember the shooting at the McDonald’s in San Ysidro. After that, they tore the McDonald’s down. So, I seriously doubt a school would put on this production.

But hey…when you have a small budget and not a lot of money for set pieces…a dark school auditorium with fake trees and poor lighting, is probably the perfect place for some killing (if only Kathy Lee Gifford’s daughter Cassidy could’ve been killed in the first five minutes).

A lot of horror movies have the same problem action pictures have. If we don’t care about the main characters, it’s all just murder or car chases, and you lose interest. It also hurts when none of them have common sense.

We get the usual stereotypes – the football player with a sensitive side (Reese Mishler), the cheerleader (Cassidy Gifford), drama geeks, and the bully (Ryan Shoos). His job, for some unknown reason, is to film everything going on. I always wonder with these premises in horror flicks, why once you’re running for your life, you’re still diligent about getting things on tape. I’d just be concerned with becoming the next Carl Lewis.

The gang breaks into the school easily, since Ryan found a door that’s broken. They figure they’ll trash the sets and the school won’t have a production the following day. But a strange thing happened on the way out of Beatrice High School – the doors somehow locked and cell phones stopped working (and about 10 other horror movie clichés).

The cast wasn’t the best bunch of actors, although with one character that’s supposed to be bad in the play that actually worked (for awhile).

I had fun watching it, because my friend that loves horror movies was freaked out. She said it was the scariest movie she’s seen in awhile.

I just had fun leaning in and making a lot of school/horror puns about things like “school spirit” and “hanging around.”

Sometimes it made her laugh, sometimes it bugged her. But hey…I wanted some kind of entertainment.

This gets 1 ½ stars out of 5 from me, but she’d give it 4 out of 5. And as we left the theatre at midnight, the 10 others in the audience were laughing and carrying on about how good a time they had. So if low-budget horror is your thing, you won’t be disappointed.


  • L. Nevarez

    I have zero tolerance for horror movies so I don’t plant to watch it. I enjoyed your comments Mr. Board!

  • Jerry

    Give us horror movies like in the 70s. Exorcist, Shining, Salem’s Lot. This stuff is garbage. I think it would be scarier to watch Cassidy’s mom Kathy Lee Gifford getting tipsy and acting annoying on morning TV !!!!!

Comments are closed.