Yesterday we got last minute free tickets to see The Gallows last night at the Regal theater in downtown San Diego. We were there, along with every person from Comic Con, apparently.
We got rid of our TV provider about a year ago. Needless to say, I can feel a bit like a hermit sometimes. I had not heard about this movie even once 24 hours before seeing it. Not a single commercial on TV, or radio, or the web or social media. Nada. Zilch. As we sat in the seats waiting for the movie to start, I leaned over and asked “So what’s this movie about?”
Horror movie buffs are the worst. I mean really. They are so jaded by horror movies that they aren’t even scared of them anymore, which makes me wonder why they even watch them, or why they proclaim to enjoy them. Their goal is to dominate horror movies by not being afraid – not to enjoy them. For this reason, a horror movie buff is a horrible person to get reviews from about horror movies.
Quick confession… when it comes to horror movies, I’m a big baby. Like no joke. So that makes me the absolute best person to write a horror movie review because they still make me shit my pants. If I’m not afraid of a horror movie then you know it sucks.
I don’t know if this is a spoiler, because I said I haven’t seen a single trailer for this show. So just in case, EARMUFFS. The story is about a high school play. 20 some years ago a student actor died in a school play called The Gallows when a part of the set malfunctioned. Then fast forward to today, and the same school is setting out to finally re-do the play, but hopefully, ya know, without a student dying this time.
The jock who is set to play the lead role gets cold feet the day before the performance, so he and two friends break into the school at night to sabotage the set, so that the play is forced to be cancelled.
Long story short, they get stuck in the school, scary shit happens, there’s screaming and panicking, and naturally every electronic device the teens have with them has a battery life of 20 minutes. Side note: Who the hell breaks into a pitch black facility without a flashlight? My battery dies after 10 minutes of plants vs. zombies. This could have been a horror movie. Or it could have been a documentary about the failures of the American school system for producing such idiots.
Either way, I thought the movie was really freakin scary. The movie doesn’t blow its load in the first 20 minutes, which I liked. It lets you settle into your seat and laugh and joke and forget you’re in a horror movie, and then it slowly gets darker and creepier, adding to the experience.
There were a couple scenes where the entire audience screamed in synch.
And, there were a few times when I was the only one who screamed, and was totally shamefaced.
The cast was great. They actually looked the part. I am glad we’re out of the 90’s where high schoolers looked like 30 year olds with boob jobs and steroid abuse problems. Oh, and we got to meet the cast before the screening which was pretty cool too.
My typical “would I watch it again” or “would I buy it” metric doesn’t work with horror movies because I have never purchased a horror movie or watched one voluntarily. But I can say that The Gallows was definitely a good scare, and it would for sure scare me again if I ever grew the balls to watch it again.
That being said, I give The Gallows a 9/10 for scariness, and I think you and a group of friends would have a blast seeing it together.