The Gallows

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Gallows Movie Poster Image
Dumb found-footage chiller has noisy jump scares, some gore.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Leave well enough alone (i.e., don't bring back a deadly, cursed play).

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not only are there no role models here, but one of the main characters is an obnoxious, disrespectful bully, and it's not clear whether viewers are supposed to hate him or like him.

Violence

Several noisy, sudden jump-scares. Ghost attacks. Teens are hanged and killed. Drops of blood. Gory neck wound. Gory broken leg. Arguing. Threats. Vandalizing. Mean practical jokes.

Sex

A teen makes lewd gestures behind his girlfriend's back. Some innuendo. A teen girl wears a tight/revealing tank top and shorts.

Language

One "f--k," plus "s--t," "bitch," "badass," "hell," "damn," "you suck," "you're stupid," "testies," "boobie."

Consumerism

iPhones regularly used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Gallows is a found-footage horror movie about a cursed high school play. There are noisy, shocking jump-scares, plus images of teens killed by hanging, some drops of blood, and a few graphic, gory images. There's also some bullying, arguing, cruel practical jokes, and vandalizing. A teen makes lewd gestures, and there's a bit of innuendo and some tight/revealing clothes. Language includes one "f--k," plus "s--t," "bitch," "damn," "hell," and more. This is the kind of movie that teen horror hounds will flock to on its opening weekend, though it may quickly be forgotten after that.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byILoveMyWife July 10, 2015

Took my 10-year-old nephew to see this movie. Not an R-rated movie.

Really good! "Hell," "God," and "damn" should never be mentioned as profanities for an R-rated movie; especially in the same sente... Continue reading
Adult Written bySeanT726 July 15, 2015

Shouldn't be rated R.

As said in the title, I'm frankly baffled that this was rated R- I have a younger brother, age 14, and I'd take him to see this in a heartbeat if he w... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byRayban_2210 July 13, 2015

Creepy, but not what it was hyped up to be

I don't think it should've been rated R. It has cheap jump scares and very little gore. There is occasional language, one use of the f word, but nothi... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byimoviegoteen July 10, 2015

Ok, but way too scary for kids under 15

Lets start off with language, only 1 F word, half a dozen S words, 15 uses of Gods name, and some other unwanted language. Some scenes contain sexual material,... Continue reading

What's the story?

In 1993, a Nebraska high school play called The Gallows went terribly wrong when an actor was unexpectedly hanged and killed. Two decades later, the drama class prepares to stage the play again. Wisecracking football player Ryan (Ryan Shoos) is in charge of capturing everything on video. His pal, Reese (Reese Mishler), has the lead role and is struggling with his performance while nursing a crush on his leading lady, Pfeifer (Pfeifer Brown). Ryan convinces Reese that if they break into the school and destroy the sets, Reese won't have to go on. Unfortunately, they, along with Ryan's girlfriend, Cassidy (Cassidy Gifford), find themselves trapped inside ... and a malevolent spirit seems to be in there with them.

Is it any good?

Yet another in the seemingly endless parade of low-budget, "found footage" horror movies, this one feels like it was rushed into production without a chance to develop a strong story or characters. As THE GALLOWS begins, it places all of its chips on Ryan, the thoroughly obnoxious, disrespectful bully who's behind the camera. Cassidy loses points simply by being his girlfriend, while the others are fairly muted, never letting us in on who they really are.

The story never establishes any kind of reason for re-staging the deadly play -- or what the motivation of the evil spirit is (or even who it is). And the characters are never smart enough to recognize the obvious (don't climb that ladder!) or avoid horror movie cliches. Additionally, it's not much of a horror movie; the two writer/directors rely entirely on loud noises and jump-scares, without any building of suspense or dread. All in all, The Gallows has a few too many hang-ups.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Gallows' violence. How much is shown and not shown? Which is more frightening? How do the filmmakers achieve the movie's biggest scares? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • What is a "jump scare" in horror movies? Why do we react so strongly to sudden movements and noises?

  • Are any of these teens stereotypes? If so, how? Would you consider any of them role models?

  • Are any of the characters bullies? How are they dealt with, if at all?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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