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Gallows, The


Stars: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Cassidy Gifford, Ryan Shoos, Travis Cluff, Price Morgan

Director: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofting

The Blair Witch Project has a great deal to answer for.

In retrospect it turned out to have been a B film that was ridiculously overrated by reviewers seeking subtext and new auteurs to discover and celebrate but, worse still, it made found footage fashionable.

So here comes yet another aspirant shocker made up of of cheap and nasty nausea-inducing handheld camerawork and very little else of interest apart from a scintilla of praise for writer-directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofting for having succeeded in getting this embarrassing waste of 81 minutes into cinemas.

Even devoted horrorflick completists would be well advised to miss this until the show becomes available in a format that enables the use of a fast-forward button.

If I’m honest, I admit I did enjoy one sequence – the end credits.

Although by that time I probably would have welcomed a shit-filled sewer bursting in the preview theatre as far more entertaining. In any case by then the naming of guilty parties arrived far too late to save the fiasco.

At the start we see the lead in a high school play being hanged by accident during a 1993 performance of the eponymous drama. 20 years later, the same play is staged to honour the original (although the film itself has little originality on view). Ryan Shoos films the rehearsals and, the evening before opening night, persuades football player and the play’s leading man Rees Mishler and his leading lady Pfeifer Brown to join him to wreck the play’s set and save Mishler from making an ass of himself on stage. And Shoos girlfriend Cassidy Gifford joins them.

Result: a seemingly endless night of faux shocks, shakily filmed genre tropes and clichéd (“This isn’t over yet!” being possibly the most depressing line in the film) dialogue. And the farrago gets the acting, writing and direction it deserves.

Anyone who pays to see this drivel deserves sympathy.

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Warner. Colour.
81 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 14 Jul 2015