Back in 2015, we reviewed a found-footage horror called The Gallows. We really didn’t like it and you can read that full review here. The first film introduced us to the evil spirit of Charlie Grimille. A student that was accidentally hanged and killed by a prop malfunction during a presentation of the play ‘The Gallows’.
Since then anyone who tries to put on a new performance of the play will incur the wrath of Charlie. Who goes around dressed in a hangman’s outfit and uses a noose to kill his victims.
This sequel continues that idea but drops the found-footage style (baring the start) and introduces a sort of possession angle. I say ‘sort of’ because The Gallows Act II doesn’t seem to quite know just what it wants to be. The plot is a confused mess of ideas wrapped up in so many jump scare attempts it stops being funny and just becomes annoying.
Written and directed by Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff. It stars Ema Horvath, Chris Milligan and Brittany Falardeau. The former playing a character called Ana Rue who desperately wants to be a popular YouTuber/actress. She just can’t get subscribers though and it makes her sad.
She lacks confidence, showcased when she embarrasses herself doing a bad monologue at her acting class. Everything changes though when she finds the playbook for The Gallows and discovers that others have made videos of them reading it whereupon spooky stuff happens.
She decides to have a go and records herself reading from the play resulting in one of many, many, many jump-scares. She should be freaked out but instead she’s over the moon as her subs grow and grow.
However, unwittingly she has awoken the ghost of Charlie and the hangman has an empty noose.
I didn’t think it could get much worse then the original but they managed it. The Gallows Act II is a horrid movie. For starters, it is incredibly boring and moves at a snails pace for most of its run-time. Then we have aforementioned plot issues, a story that is all over the place and utterly incoherent. It results in a twist ending that could have been interesting if the movie had done anything to actually earn it.
Then we have the cast, a bunch of bland and barely trying actors. It’s a struggle to remember their faces let alone their names or what their motivations are in this movie.
If all of that isn’t enough to put you off, then how about the inescapable fact that The Gallows Act II just isn’t scary. Every attempt at tension building results in exactly the same thing. A jump-scare and by the 10th one most will be either sick of them or so desensitised the next 10 has no effect.
It seems as though the film-makers had no concept as to what constitutes an actual scare. Instead opting for the laziest thing going which could have been passable enough if the movie was good elsewhere.
It’s not though. Not at all.
The Gallows Act II