Such is the power of Nirvana that a slowed-down, choral rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” transforms what could have been a rather standard trailer for Blumhouse’s found-footage frightener The Gallows into an eerie, transfixing and utterly terrifying preview.
Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing direct this latest attempt to cash in on the found-footage craze, telling the blood-curdling tale of a group of teens whose high school is reviving a play from decades earlier that previously resulted in the accidental hanging of a student. Needless to say, bringing it back was a bad idea, and soon enough, all manner of wide-eyed teenagers are running scared down dimly lit corridors, fleeing what looks to be a pretty ruthless spirit.
I put The Gallows on my list of the ten most promising summer movies that have been flying under the radar, and I’ll stand by that. Advance buzz on the pic has been extremely positive, and though the found-footage genre has been sullied in recent months by crap like Area 51 and Nightlight, Jason Blum is standing behind The Gallows and heralding it as one of the summer’s scariest flicks, and his stamp of approval still means something.
The pic opens July 10.
Twenty years after an accident during a small town high school play results in death, students at the school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone.