The Gallows: The Evil Spirit Charlie Explained | Screen Rant
Here’s The Gallows vengeful spirit Charlie explained. Following the surprise success of found footage horror Paranormal Activity, production company Blumhouse has become the go-to name for the genre. Blumhouse keeps their production budgets low but manages to attract top directors and actors with the promise of creative freedom and the potential to earn a nice payday if the film is a hit. Insidious by James Wan was one of the first big successes of this formula, which spawned a series of sequels.
In the years since, Blumhouse has been responsible for the likes of Happy Death Day, The Purge series and Glass. They’ve been behind some of the biggest genre hits of recent years too, including Jordan Peele’s acclaimed Get Out and 2018’s Halloween. Outside of horror, they’ve also produced movies like Whiplash and Stretch. That’s not to say they always produced gems, but even weaker efforts like 2020’s Fantasy Island tend to turn a profit due to their lower budgets.
By all accounts, 2015’s The Gallows is decidedly not one of Blumhouse’s better offerings. This found footage horror follows a group of students trapped in their high-school at night with an angry spirit, but it suffers from any number of issues. The found footage angle feels particularly forced in The Gallows, as there’s no clear reason for the story to be told in this way. The teen characters the movie follows are, at best, irritating and it relies on jump scares for most of its thrills. Just about the only really impressive thing about The Gallows is that it was produced for only $ 100,000.
The Gallows opens in 1993 where a school is holding a performance of a play called The Gallows. The story ends with the lead character, played in the movie by a student called Charlie Grimille, being hanged but a prop malfunction leads to his accidental death. 20 years later the school decides to restage the play and finish it, with the main character Reese using it as an excuse to get to know his leading lady Pfeifer. His douchy friend Ryan films everything – for no particular reason – but hates the idea of Reese performing. He convinces Reese and his own girlfriend Cassidy to sneak in late at night to destroy the set so it will be cancelled. Pfeifer catches them in the act, but soon they’re all locked in and chased by Charlie, who is dressed as the Hangman.
The Gallows’ villain Charlie wants revenge on Reese, whose father was originally set to play the lead in The Gallows, but got sick that day, leading to him stepping in. His method of killing is hanging his victims, but his true objective is to recreate the end of the play with Reese in the main role, and himself as the Hangman. Reese voluntarily lets himself be hanged, but a final twist reveals Pfeifer was Charlie’s daughter and she and her mother helped set up his revenge.
The Gallows’ Charlie could have been a creepy villain, but the movie’s botched execution and lack of decent scares spoiled this potential. Blumhouse still managed to produce a sequel with The Gallows Act II in 2019, which also received terrible reviews.