The Gallows Act II dangles a tattered noose over its own non-sensical jump scares. Did anyone in the world demand a sequel to Blumhouse’s apparent hit ‘The Gallows’? Seriously, anyone? Yet again, the studio attempt to make a franchise due to the minuscule budget involved and the lucrative box office returns. So much so, that continuity, consistency and complacency are left to hang on the nearest oak tree. Not that there was any quality to be discovered in its predecessor, mind you. This sequel finds an Internet generation commencing “Charlie Challenges”. Think “Cinnamon Challenge”, but instead of digesting a spoonful of spice, a ghoulish hangman haunts those that read the contents of a stage play. “Cometh the hangman”!
There really isn’t much to discuss. It’s bad. Really bad. The irritating found-footage style of the original is replaced with a traditional technique, and that to be honest is the only improvement to be found. The story tries so hard to be relevant, with its depiction of millennial crazes, that it instantly exudes an eye-rolling tendency. An aspiring actress, whom seemingly has no friends and experienced an unexplained estrangement with her family, continually refreshes her subscriber total on YouTube. Popularity and relevance merging together, the feeling for us amateur social media film critics is all too familiar.
We’re supposed to empathise with her, being the lonely soul that she is. But when she commits to contacting The Gallows’ Charlie, just to purposefully create a viral video, you instantly question her common sense. A table mysteriously moves in the first video. What does she do? Repeat the process. A vase glides across the room. Her fingers slammed by the closet door (“Ouch! Charlie bit my finger!”). Her older sister now experiencing the same jump scares. The dog oblivious to everything. The Zac Efron lookalike staring at Auna/Anna/Ana, inhibiting a potential ‘High School Musical’ spin-off. Urgh, it’s just so stupid. The characters, the plot, the fact that a sequel was commissioned in the first place. Practically everything was moronic. Then the final act offered another noose for all those who were able to withstand the feature’s idiocy, by supplying a painfully unintelligent twist that literally had zero impact. The whole “willing sacrifice” shenanigans? Why? What could possibly be the point of this entire ordeal? God frickin’ damn, it’s bad.
Aside from a few well-executed shots and one ferocious argument between the sisters, there is absolutely nothing else to praise. The Gallows Act II is essentially ‘Slenderman’. The Gallows Act II is essentially ‘Friend Request’. The Gallows Act II is essentially rubbish, and should hang its own head in shame.