If found footage horror movies have taught us one thing, it's that snooping around haunted buildings at night is a supremely bad idea. If they've taught us two things, the other one is that snooping around a haunted building at night is no fun if you don't have a camera to record your last, gasping, regretful expression.
Around the time that microbudget found footage horror Paranormal Activity multiplied its production costs to a ludicrous degree at the box office, Blumhouse Productions figured out a profitable plan for making relatively cheap horror movies that were highly successful with audiences. The latest offering from Blumhouse is The Gallows, a found footage horror about a group of students who sneak into their small town high school at night to pay tribute to a school play that ended in tragedy twenty years previously.
The first teaser for The Gallows was simple but effective: a girl bathed in red light, sobbing as she was stalked by an ominous figure, punctuated with quotes about how scary the movie is (from members of the audience at a preview screening, not reviews). The second trailer has now been released and establishes more the plot, though it should be readily familiar to anyone who's watched this kind of film before.
Soon the poor teens - played by a cast of newcomers whose characters share their first names - find themselves trapped in the school and uncovering the truth of that ill-fated performance of The Gallows even as the ghosts of the past try to pick them off, one by one. In this trailer they try climbing up to an air vent and pulling the fire alarm for help, all apparently to no avail. The movie was written and directed by creative duo Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff.
The best thing about this trailer is actually the cover of Radiohead's "Creep" that begins at around the halfway mark, but in The Gallows' defense it is a really good cover. The movie itself looks pretty spooky and horror fans who just can't get enough of this formula should be suitably entertained.
Still, between the fairly generic-looking plot and the dialogue featured in this trailer (a character saying "It's super creepy in here" is kind of the polar opposite of the 'show, don't tell' rule in filmmaking), it's probably best to keep expectations tempered.
The Gallows arrives in theaters on July 10th, 2015.