In last month’s Summer Movie Preview, The Dissolve gave The Gallows, a forthcoming found-footage horror indie, a 4.9 Anticipation Rating. The reasons for our tepid-to-middling excitement were twofold: 1) The first trailer for The Gallows offered very little by way of plot, featuring a teen girl sitting in a very uncomfortable position on the floor, bathed in red light, sobbing into her knees, before being unceremoniously hung to death. Scary, yes, but not suuuper informative. 2) Found-footage horror films. You know?
A new trailer for The Gallows dropped today, and personally, I would like to up my anticipation level to at least a 7.6. High-school plays are inherently terrifying and occasionally fatal; I would know, having been in several and nearly sending my parents to an early grave by way of boredom and embarrassment. But writer-directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing—newcomers who made The Gallows anticipating a small release and then, thanks to online buzz, picked up producer Jason Blum (Insidious, The Purge)—have found a fresh angle on the concept of scary-bad teen theater (from above, hanging from the rafters).
The Gallows follows a group of punchy high-schoolers determined to remount a play that, 20 years earlier, accidentally caused the death of its lead actor, Charlie, whose last name is unintelligible. Somehow, Charlie’s violent death was a fact these fledgling thesps managed to overlook when deciding to stage this particular work. But everything is illuminated, just like Jonathan Safran Foer said it would be, when Charlie’s vengeful ghost begins to murder this merry band of youngsters one by one. Didn’t anybody every warn them that hell hath no fury like a (dead) theater kid scorned?
The trail of the tape
Title: The Gallows
Director: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing
Screenwriters: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing
Cast: Cassidy Gifford, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos
Release date: July 10, 2015
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “Someone died in this school?”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
I am docking The Gallows .3 anticipation points for following the trend of scoring trailers to sad, slowed-down covers of hit songs. But I’m graciously bestowing an additional .4 for the fantastic puns inherent in that cover. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”! Bravo, The Gallows trailer. If puns be the food of found-footage-horror trailers, play on.