THE GALLOWS is aptly titled, as it demonstrates how filmmakers who have a perfectly serviceable idea can hang themselves with one fatally wrongheaded decision.
Seriously, ya’ll, this “found footage” thing has got to stop. It was a nifty idea at first, when THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT did it back in 1999 (and even more trendy and novel when Italian director Ruggero Deodato did it with CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, the flick that inspired Blair Witch, in 1980). And the subgenre has produced some truly memorable films in the time since then, both within (THE DEVIL’S DUE) and outside of (CHRONICLE) the Horror genre proper. But found footage films have become cheaper than a dime a dozen. It seems there’s a new one rolling out every week. It’s become so insidious that there is even talk of making the next installment the Friday the 13th series a found footage movie! Enough, already!
The most recent example of why the movement is so played out is the generic-as-hell THE GALLOWS, which got obliterated at the box office this past weekend because it opened against MINIONS. But, because it cost practically nothing to make, which is one of the primary reasons studios and independents love this tired subgenre so much, it still managed to turn a tidy profit—thus guaranteeing that even MORE found footage movies will get made. Arrrrgh!