Warner Bros. probably hopes July 10‘s shaky-cam, found footage thriller The Gallows is the same sleeper horror hit their own The Conjuring was two years prior. Based on what’s been brought to the table, though, I’m hard-pressed to believe they’ll work up the same success.
Less than a month before the movie is set to hit theaters, a new TV spot and sneak peek at the opening scene hit the web. While there are no laughable press quotes in this one, there’s also not lot to work up any frights — try as they might.
The teaser is pretty much your typical horror TV spot, with some bold text and a snippet of footage to get people wondering what’s gonna happen. But I’ll give it this: the opening scene tease is mildly affecting. Formatting itself to look as if it were shot a handheld camera appropriate for its 1993 time jump, this kind of tension building is a bit old hat by now, but at least it’s sticking to the convictions of its genre. I give compliments when I see fit.
But that’s kind of the problem with the marketing on this one so far — it looks just like every kind of found-footage movie that’s come post-Blair Witch Project. There’s little here to separate it from anything we’ve seen before. But then again, it’s not like these movies were shot and edited for a pretty dime. Even if the movie only makes $30 million or so in its domestic run, it’ll get in the black quicker than you can say Paranormal Activity 7.
But maybe it wouldn’t hurt to throw in an extra buck or two into the marketing to convince me this is worth my time. Especially since there’s another found-footage scare-fest, The Vatican Tapes, set to come out just two weeks later.
Here’s the opening scene:
Here’s the TV spot: