Starring Ryan Shoos, Reese Houser, Cassidy Gilford, Pfeifer Brown,
The latest found footage, handheld camera, horror film The Gallows is one of the worst movies of 2015 and here is why. Writing/directing duo Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff introduce the viewers to characters (who simply just carry the actor’s names) that reflect what these two young men think high school students might act or sound like. However, living in the real world, anyone can recognize the falsities in these poor representations, from carrying a camera around everywhere to throwing a football at a “theater nerd” and not being reprimanded for it by nearby coaches/adults. The horror element to The Gallows finds four students locked in their high school with no cell service, no power, and the inability to open doors or break windows, yes they are truly in stereotypical horror movie hell.
The 1993 reenactment of The Gallows by the Beatrice High School drama department in Nebraska, ended in tragedy, and a student was actually hung in front of a live audience. The current drama department has controversially decided to put on the same play. Ryan (Ryan Shoos), jealous of his best friend Reese (Reese Houser) for landing the starring role, constantly mocks him during football practice and rehearsals while documenting every moment behind a handheld camera. Ryan, loving the sound of his own voice, bullies the “drama nerds” and insults his cheerleader girlfriend Cassidy (Cassidy Gilford), documenting every moment. Devising a plan to stop the production of The Gallows and help his boy get with lead actress Pfeifer (Pfeifer Brown), the students break into the school to wreck the production but find themselves unable to escape and being picked off by a ghost.
"Paying money to see something you could film and edit on your cell phone is like throwing money into the wind"
The dialogue (for a major motion picture backed by Warner Bros) goes like this: “Ryan stop being dumb,” “You’re stupid”. Listening to actor Ryan Shoos for even 10 minutes will have the audience cheering for his death just to put an end to the obnoxious behavior not to mention the inexcusably poor acting which extends to the entire cast. It becomes apparent to those who refuse to walk out of movies they pay for, that the only way for this nightmare to end, leather face (only armed with a rope mind you) must string up the entire cast. The script and the performances do nothing to make us root for these teenagers’ safety or survival.
“This play is an embarrassment! You are going to embarrass everybody,” Ryan says. Of course his exact words would be more effective aimed at Lofing and Cluff. The horror genre has it rough anyway because intelligent people don’t really pay to be scared, so studios green-light anything remotely scary because hand held films starring Kathy Lee Gifford’s daughter are cheap to make and typically turn a quick profit. If you do manage to sit through this detestable film, the story of a ghost or spirit coming back for revenge does eventually make a point, contrived and convoluted as it might be. Paying money to see something you could film and edit on your cell phone (odds are your friends are better actors) is like throwing money into the wind.
You will want to provide the killer with additional rope, if it means this worst movie of the year candidate, will end sooner.