Kathie Lee Gifford’s daughter Cassidy is a new scream-queen in this paranormal “found footage” thriller. Growing up as the daughter of the “Today” show co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, Cassidy enjoyed many privileges, including a having her foot-in-the-show business door. After an inauspicious debut in “God’s Not Dead” (2014), she landed a plum role in this horror thriller. First-time filmmakers Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing obviously recognized a good publicity hook when it was dangled in front of them, particularly since their incoherent script doesn’t contain a shred of suspense or originality. Read more…
On October 29, 1993, a Beatrice, Nebraska, high-school thespian, Charlie Grimille, literally, died on-stage in a freak prop-malfunction during a production of a play called “The Gallows.” Despite school board objections, 20 years later, the drama department decides to mount this jinxed play once again.
But then a vengeful spirit arrives on the scene. The night before the scheduled opening, three students sneak into the auditorium to destroy the set. Suddenly, they’re trapped in the locked building where phone lines are down, and they’re joined by the leading lady.
Supernatural forces seem to be at work in the form of a killer with a hangman’s noose.
Curiously, the stereotypical characters have been given the same first names as the actors who play them. Reese Mishler is the leading man/football star who has a crush on the wannabe actress, Pfeifer Brown. Cassidy Gifford is Pfeifer’s snobbish cheerleader pal, and Ryan Shoos is the annoying videographer.
Jason Blum, producer of “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious,” picked up this derivative, low-budget flick with its shaky, grainy camerawork, irritating audio and C-list cast. With the exception of the Oscar-winning “Whiplash,” Blum has become a 21st century Roger Corman, churning out cheap Blumhouse chillers that click at the box-office.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Gallows” is an ominous, yet totally predictable 2 – in the “Blair Witch”-style horror sub-genre.