Dec 112019

The Gallows Act II might be a slight step up from the first film if only because it’s a traditionally shot film versus the found footage style, but the story still isn’t the best and the acting mostly subpar (though I did like Ema Horvath in the lead).



The Gallows Act II

Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Lionsgate | R – 100 min. – $24.99 | December 24, 2019

Date Published: 12/11/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff
Writer(s): Chris Lofing, Travis Cluff (written by)
Cast: Ema Horvath, Chris Milligan, Brittany Falardeau

Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 47.95 GB
Total Bitrate: 41.58 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1.75/5

Plot Synopsis: When teenage vlogger and aspiring actress Auna Rue logs onto a sinister website, she’s trapped in the malevolent world of a cursed stage play, The Gallows. After performing a passage from the play for her tiny online fan base, Auna instantly achieves the stardom she seeks — as well as a twisted challenge from a deadly spirit, The Hangman.

Review: Honestly, I don’t remember very much about The Gallows, a found footage horror movie released in 2015 other than, based on my rating of a whopping 1/5, that I hated it (as I do for the majority of found footage films). Now four years later, the original writers and directors bring us The Gallows Act II courtesy of Lionsgate (picking up Warner’s leftover scraps) and Blumhouse returning to produce.

Why was The Gallows Act II needed? Well, it wasn’t, but I did want to give it a fair shot especially, at least after the first scene, the filmmakers do away with the found footage style, so already up from its predecessor. But that’s probably where the praise ends for me with a movie that had plenty of potential but went down the same path as most of these modern supernatural horror films, though I will give Lofing and Cluff some credit, they did keep the jump scares down to a minimum…

In terms of the story, it’s standard fare for the most part with the girl eventually getting visited by a demonic spirit, not to mention those around her for… reasons. Basically the spirit plays by whatever rules are convenient for the best scare or horrific death. Where the film redeems itself, before falling apart, is the twist ending.

So, SPOILER ALERT for those who care: the finale finds our troubled heroine being kidnapped with her boyfriend and taking to a double noosed gallow, each one put in the noose before she, with “The Hangman” hand on the lever, willingly sacrifices herself for the boy she loves. Well, lo and behold this boyfriend was in on it, she dies all in the attempt, and success, of the “Perfect Charlie Challenge” which he had filmed and live streamed on the Internet. Not that there will be an “Act III”, as this direct-to-video movie gets dropped on Christmas Eve of all days, but wouldn’t mind seeing a “Slenderman” type investigation by the Feds into this town that, apparently, are filled with Charlie Grimille cult, filled with both adults and teens alike because… why not.

As I said, there was some potential, ruined by the over-usage of the supernatural element. I actually wouldn’t have minded if maybe there is a question to Auna’s sanity and whether she’s really seeing The Hangman or it’s all part of her ever-unraveling mind. Beyond that, they could’ve pushed the social commentary about Internet fame a bit more, but instead it’s pretty much dropped by the halfway point.

There’s really not much positive I can say about the film. The acting from the supporting cast was adequate I suppose, if I’m being kind, but I will say lead actress Ema Horvath, in what I think is her first starring role, carried herself pretty well and despite being a budding vlogger, was at least likeable rather than obnoxious like some of these people tend to be on YouTube (and kudos to the filmmakers for actually using YouTube than some phony social network site.

The Gallows Act II is a step up from the first film but that’s a low bar as that one was an absolutely terrible film, even by found footage standards. This is the type of movie that surprisingly didn’t go straight-to-streaming via Netflix…



This release comes with a matted slip cover and redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Features include an Audio Commentary with Writers-Directors Travis Cloff & Chris Lofing who delve into making this sequel in secrecy, Summoning the Hangman: Staging The Gallows Act II (36:21) is a lengthier than expected behind-the-scenes featurette with cast/crew interviews, and a set of 15 Deleted Scenes (33:44).

PreviewsScary Stories to Tell in the Dark, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate pulls the lever for The Gallows Act II onto Blu-ray where it’s presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. As direct-to-video, and likely the low budget variety, this actually looked great where detail is sharp and despite this being a movie where numerous people are killed by “The Hangman”, has some decent colors (one scene the reds especially pop) and black levels are stark without appearing crushed.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The movie includes a standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which does provide clear dialogue via the center speaker with the rear channels mostly utilized for the ambient noises, including the jolting music/score cues and any off-screen action or blood-curdling screams. Nothing amazing but still efficient.


OVERALL – 2.0/5

The Gallows Act II might be a slight step up from the first film if only because it’s a traditionally shot film versus the found footage style, but the story still isn’t the best and the acting mostly subpar (though I did like Ema Horvath in the lead). Kind of surprising this got made however a horror movie being dumped on Christmas Eve, not exactly the sign of confidence from a studio.


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