In 2009 Paranormal Activity - the "found footage" horror film made on a $15,000 budget - hit theaters and changed the genre entirely, with films of a similar style being pushed out on a regular basis.
Warner Bros. has released the very first official teaser trailer for The Gallows, a new horror film produced by Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) about a group of students who attempt to resurrect a failed stage production that resulted in death twenty years prior.
The official teaser for The Gallows doesn't offer much insight into the storyline of the film, nor does it provide any real context. What's shown is a girl sitting by herself in a dark room, hysterical and in tears with a walkway behind her (assumed to be backstage at a school). After a bit of suspenseful music and a few quoted reviews of how scary the film is, the crying girl grabs the camera to reveal strange marks on her neck just before she's quickly pulled away in a jump-scare attempt.
For writer/directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, tackling this type of film is new territory - especially Lofing, given this is his directorial debut for a feature film. Cluff has a feature under his belt with Gold Fools, released in 2012 (a film that Lofing was an editor on), but this is the first mainstream project of this scope for him as well. The good news is that this duo has worked together in the past which adds a level of familiarity to the process.
Since the release of Paranormal Activity, people have been trying to emulate the genuine feeling of fear that a "found footage" film has the potential to offer. That isn't to say that attempts haven't been successful (e.g., films like V/H/S and [REC]), but with so many iterations released in recent years, it's become harder and harder for writers and directors to implement fresh takes on the already-too-familiar genre.
And so far, The Gallows doesn't seem to bring anything substantially new to the table. While an occasional jump-scare is always appreciated, fans of horror films are forever looking for new and true ways to feel terror while in their seats which requires much more than a loud noise and a fast grab off-screen.
However, although what has been released so far doesn't provide much, the official storyline is actually pretty interesting and definitely has the potential to take us to new and strange places we've yet been. And remember - this is just the first teaser; there is still plenty of time for more footage to surface and help people delve into what is hopefully an innovative installment.
The Gallows hits theaters July 10th
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures