[UPDATE: The teaser trailer dropped today (4/16) and we have it here for you!]
Not much is known about Blumhouse Productions‘ summer found footage film The Gallows – set for a July 10 release – but during their WonderCon panel we got a first look at some footage. Without giving away too much, the short clip delivered quite a scare to those in attendance. After the break, learn more about how the film came to Blumhouse’s attention and what shocked audiences.
It was announced late last year that Warner Bros.‘ New Line Cinema set the 2015 summer release for The Gallows. The film caught the eye of Management 360 via a trailer on YouTube, who then brought it to producer Jason Blum.
“We saw a rough cut of this and I really loved it. We were a little bit cautious of this now about found footage. There were a lot of these found footage movies that weren’t that good and just because they were found footage people would watch them. Now I almost feel like people are a little tired of it [found footage], so for it to catchit has to be really good. I just thought this movie felt unbelievably authentic, like no found footage movie I’ve seen in a long time.”
After a flurry of found footage films due to the success of Paranormal Activity, The Gallows impressed Blum for being anti-Hollywood.
“The other thing I should say is that the best found footage scary movies I think is the way Oren’s Paranormal Activity was this crew was two people and they did it totally off the grid in his own house and away from Hollywood, and that’s how these guys made these movie.”
While shooting his thesis, aspiring film school student from Nebraska, Chris Lofing asked Travis Cluff to do stunt work for his movie. (Cluff was fresh off his stint on the reality show Wipe Out – who became the first person to successfully cross the Tipsy Towers. He won his episode too.) The two built a friendship and moved up to Fresno from Los Angeles where they conceived and shot the film.
Most low budget horror films, especially of the found footage variety, generally cast unknowns. Lofing and Cluff explained briefly on their casting process.
“We almost knew immediately who we wanted and they’re really are characters who are related to anyone who has been to high school.”
As a found footage film, the duo did not use a director of photography and had his cast hold the cameras, something that also drew Blum to the project.
“People in jeopardy tend not to hold a camera. But these guys found an organic way to scare people.”
As I said, during the panel a small clip of the film was introduced by Blumhouse’s director of development, Ryan Turek. What we saw was fairly short, but it packed a punch. There was no context to the clip, or how the character shown came to be in her situation, but it was quite the terrifying situation.
[SPOILER: Scene description]
What was shown was one of the lead stars, Cassidy Gifford, scared and alone with only the red tint of emergency exit lights to guide her. As the lights flicker, like they typically do in horror films, we see a shadowy figure appear behind her. From what I recall, he was wearing a white shirt with dark pants while holding a noose. We are now zoomed in close to her face, similarly to a scene in The Blair Witch Project. As the camera pans further away from her face we see scar tissue and scrapes along her neck. The frame pauses for the audience to take in the horror. Cassidy is then jerked by the noose that wraps around her neck and then dragged away on the floor. Whether she survives we’ll find out this summer.
(Click on any thumbnail below to begin the image gallery)
Here’s the official plot synopsis from IMDb.com:
20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but soon discover that some things are better left alone.
Written and directed by Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, The Gallows stars Cassidy Gifford (God’s Not Dead!) , Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, and Reese Mishler (Youthful Daze). The film is due out in theaters on July 10, 2015.
Check out more coverage from WonderCon 2015 here.