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Not bad, but not outstanding either...
Paul Magne Haakonsen24 August 2014
"Gallows Hill" (aka "The Damned") was actually a good enough movie, despite it being generic in every sense. The storyline was nothing new, but still the movie was entertaining for what it was and for the way it was directed.

A group of Americans are traveling in Columbia when they are in a landslide accident. Seeking refuge at a nearby old inn, the marooned come across an old man living all by himself. When they hear the cries of a young girl from the basement, things take a turn and things are not all what they appear. But as they release the girl from her confinement, little do they know what they have unleashed.

The storyline is good and there is a good continuous flow to the movie. Just a shame that the movie followed every book of "how to make a horror movie" there is, and it all was something seen before.

The acting in the movie was good, and the people had a proper script and proper characters to work with. And as such, that whole element added a layer of enjoyment to the movie.

I will say, though, for a horror movie, then there were surprisingly little scare moments in the entire movie.

"Gallows Hill" is a good enough choice for an evenings worth of movie entertainment.

A mediocre 5 out of 10 stars from me.
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Another lost in the woods, happen upon the demon locked in the box story, but it ends well.
Jesse Boland28 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Gallows Hill or The Damned. I really didn't think that I was enjoying this movie at all for the first two thirds or so, then as the story sort of rallies, and gives more substance to all of the chaos that is making everyone's heads spin; I suddenly saw the actual movie, and realized that it all made sense, and they had meant to be that vague.

In a tired horror world that is just too saturated with poltergeist- ery and other forms of possession or dispossession, and completely unnecessary death just for the filler of it all; This movie does nothing new, including the worst plot device of all - the foreshadowed introduction, then the quick spin back to tell the story so far. However, there is a good, simple, and properly worked out ending that ties all of the loose ends together, and makes for a decent ride that may leave you with your knees still shaking just a little.

The acting is no special event, but the sets are well lit, and the look of everything is realistic, and never too "set-up" looking (the backgrounds were open enough, and there is no sense of claustrophobia even in the buildings).

Would I rush out to see this? No, but I would throw it on the list to be seen. There is enough here to Enjoy, the jump scares are not cheap, and there is a ton of blood, hardly any nudity, and some bad language, but this is an adult horror movie so expect that.

Jesse of
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All in all, not a bad little flick.
TheBarleyGuy1 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't know what to think about this before I threw it on. Directed by Victori Garcia (the man who helmed my hands-down least favourite horror film of all time Hellraiser : Revalations), this appears to be the first film that allowed him full creative control. Prior to this movie, he was the director of Mirrors 2, Return To House On Haunted Hill, 30 Days Of Night : Blood Trails, and of course the worst movie ever… however, based on the jump in quality with this one, I have a feeling he felt considerably more free, and wasn't just after the work. Another surprise was the writer, Richard D'Ovidio, who previously penned Thir13en Ghosts, and The Call. All around, based on the previous work of both of these guys, this might have been one I avoided. I can honestly say, I'm glad that I didn't.

The movie begins with some pretty flat seeming characters, and felt quite generic. That being said, the style actually seemed to change pretty drastically and became quite cool and atmospheric. The effects are minimal, and effective, and the actors seemed to get their sh*t together part way through the movie. The young girl who plays the 'ancient evil' is pretty effective and creepy, though her performance is pretty short lived once the the demon starts to switch bodies. The story moves along at a pretty good clip, and delivers on some pretty good tension all the way through, it does have fall a little bit flat from time to time, but not enough to kill the movie or stop it dead.

I will say this, the story comes off a little bit heavy handed with the occasional voice over about secrets, and the fact that all of these characters are also tortured souls with deep dark secrets to be exploited. As a result, there are some moments that get a little bit eye-rolly, but overall it's actually pretty effective and does make a reasonable (albeit heavy handed) point about people's secrets coming back to haunt you.

All that said, the movie is occasionally frightening, grim, and even becomes quite bleak and heavy near the end. It's also not a movie that forces a happy ending, and the ending feels natural without sequel baiting. That really was a breath of fresh air to have a movie end in a bit of a non-traditional, and down-note like this one did.

So, all in all, this is a fun movie, that delivers a pretty satisfying level of scares throughout. It might not make anyone's top-10 of all time list, but it really is one of the better horror films I've seen this year. Go ahead and give it a watch, you could certainly do worse! Also, never, ever, ever watch Hellrasier: Revelations.

Final Grade : B-

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You Kill You Die
Claudio Carvalho20 January 2016
In Bogota, Colombia, the widow American David Reynolds (Peter Facinelli) is ready to travel back to America with his fiancée Lauren (Sophia Myles) and his daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos) to get married after the death of his wife Marcela. However Jill has left her passport in the house of her aunt Gina (Carolina Guerra) and they travel in a car with Gina and Jill's boyfriend Ramon (Sebastian Martínez) to the town where Gina lives. They drive through a shortcut but they are stopped on the road by Capitan Morales (Juan Pablo Gamboa) that warns them that the road is flooded and is too dangerous to drive along, but Gina decides to continue. They have an accident and the car overturns and Lauren breaks two ribs in the middle of nowhere. They decide to walk and find an old hotel that has been closed since 1978. The owner Felipe (Gustavo Angarita) is reluctant to let them in, but he decides to lodge the group. While bringing some wood for the fireplace, the snoopy Jill and her boyfriend Ramon leaves the room and Jill overhears a cry. They seek out and find the girl Ana Maria (Julieta Salazar) padlocked in a wooden box. When Felipe returns with David with the wood and learns that the couple left the room, he runs to the box but is subdued by David. Felipe warns that the girl will kill his family, but they believe that the old man is a pedophile. But soon they discover the truth about Ana Maria.

"Gallows Hill", a.k.a. "The Damned", is a reasonable horror film with Sophia Myles. Jill is an annoying character and the decision of gagging Felipe without listening to what he is saying is typical of boastful people. It is amazing the attitude of this group with his host in his house, snooping around and releasing an evil witch. How David succeeded in locking the witch in the box if they broke the pad and the tongue? My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Amaldiçoada" ("The Damned")
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Worth watching for the atmosphere and Carolina Guerra
amesmonde5 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After a car crash a group of people take sanctuary in an old hotel, only to find a girl in a basement that is not all she seems.

Gallows Hill A.K.A The Damned is packed with atmosphere and wonderfully shot by Richard D'Ovidio. As a creepy tale in a large decrypted hotel it works well but as horror piece it falls short. Sophia Myles (when not possessed) is on fine form and Carolina Guerra is simply outstanding as Gina leaving her co-stars in her wake.

There's blood, shootings, twisted heads and fantastic settings but unfortunately the well trodden Exorcist and Evil Dead style demonic voices fail to give big scares. This offering is debatably not as strong as some atmospheric horrors Livid, REC, The Beckoning (2009), or The Orphanage to name a few.

That said, The Damned is still worth watching for its eerie ambiance created in the first half and Carolina Guerra performance.
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Good Flick:Think Relative
samkan15 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Starting a few millenniums back, science; i.e., facts, began a battle with religion; i.e., superstition. Those who believe in the supernatural, miracles, extra-terrestials, etc., are unaware science has won. As such horror and sci-fi movies, long ago limited to genre, are measurable by HOW it's done, with limitations on what CAN is done. This film (on Netflix as GALLOWS HILL) is creative on the CAN as it's stars are not lost or partying kids or paranormal sleuths. The creativity on character relations is done with useful effect. Its setting is not the USA and the film usefully employs the language barrier. Okay, it is stuck inside a house and borrows some gimmicks. The actors, photography, dialog and editing are professional. Restraint is employed regarding gratuitous nudity and special effects and the opening and closing "narrative" is minimal enough to avoid the preachy manure many films of this budget use. In sum, in relation to the tons of horror films out there, this one is pretty good. The makers might think what I'm going to say is faint praise: GALLOWS HILL, a/k/a THE DAMNED, didn't make me feel like an idiot for watching it until the end. For a grouch like me, that's praise indeed.
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Mediocre first half but improves quite a bit
Lucabrasisleeps7 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
In hindsight maybe the rating is too high for this movie. But I am partial to movies which have a better second half.

The main problem is predictability. If you have seen similar movies, then it is pretty much the same template. Too many elements are derived from so many other movies. There is really no attempt to bring anything new to the table. Another thing was the dad character. He is a good actor and all but I just couldn't buy him as the father of that girl. When she called out "Daddy" in the first scene of their meeting, I was quite surprised. He looks way younger than that. I also disliked the nosy nature of the characters. They invited trouble by going down to investigate. I am not sure if it is manners to explore since they were just guests in that house. The frequent Spanish also doesn't help matters since I was puzzled at the long conversations.

But once the girl is out, then it is game on. It just pretty much piles on the action from that point. Well, whatever action is possible within that house for the most part. The frequent bursts of Spanish doesn't matter now since we are as puzzled as the dad character. It also works well for the devil voice as well. Then it becomes a Thing-like situation with pretty much anyone being a target for the possession. The ending is a nice touch. Here the negative ending actually works instead of being a lame shock ending out of nowhere which many movies do nowadays. It is actually believable and doesn't feel like a gimmick.

There is plenty of eye candy but unfortunately not much nudity. I guess there is not much time to do anything and the characters are not in the mood anyway with all the possessions and all.

I liked it. 7/10
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Lacks everything an Horror film should have...Best avoided.
Brain_Fog18 December 2014
I watched this last night and feel compelled to make this the first review I have done on IMDb. I'm a huge Horror film fan and usually enjoy even the most generic of them. However, this is most definitely the exception.

I'm not sure what exactly it does that is so wrong, but somehow it manages to create zero atmosphere, zero scares, and zero enjoyment. It shouldn't be the case though, with many of the elements there which usually make an at least passable horror film.

(possible minor spoilers ahead in the check list, although I'm sure all are mentioned in the synopsis)

Old house in the middle of nowhere...check. Bad weather...check. Shifty old dude...check. Possessed kid...check.

Yet, for some reason it just fails miserably.

I watched 'Livid' the night before, and whilst not great, it did at least have a tense, foreboding feel about it. Which at least made it worth a watch.

The acting is poor in The Damned, the script is poor, the effects are poor and even the cinematography isn't great either. Not to mention it's almost completely devoid of any 'scares'.

It's the first Horror movie in quite a while in which I found myself utterly bored.

As the headline above says, this is best avoided.
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I'll be damned
Abe Moses19 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This goes by two different titles the very first title is Gallows Hill, it was changed to the name The Damned, for its distribution. This plays on the idea of possession. These movies seem to be running rampant this day and age. This one has a family who ends up in a storm. Their car is turned over because of a flash flood, they end up going to little Motel, where an old man lives. The old man almost refuses to let them in but then he realizes they are a family. He lets them in. What they discover is a little girl locked up in a basement, chained and bolted inside a room. They take it upon themselves to free the little girl unbeknownst to them the little girl has a secret. The old man has a secret and the place has a secret.

This is an interesting possession horror film with great little spooked moments, that play with the viewer's mind. This is a good film to watch in the dark with no lights and the television volume way up so that you can experience all the ultimate spooky reality. Now with that said it's not meant to mean a fantastic film because it's not. This plays out like a direct to video b-grade horror film.

The movie takes place in Columbia. Your main character is David. He is a widow and about to remarry. He comes to Columbia to collect his daughter who is staying with her aunt. David wants his daughter at his marriage. David's daughter does not like his new main squeeze basically stating all she is, is a money hungry whore.

The character of David is played by who I have always thought was an underrated actor and often overlooked and always seems to capture his characters in vivid ways and displays them emotionally accurate, Peter Facinelli. I first got wind of his amazing acting talent in the wonderful TV film The Price of Love (1995). He is most famous for the character of Dr. Cullen in the Twilight film series.
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davejderisi24 November 2014
OK so apparently Witches are the new concept to exploit. And apparently they can't die or something. This film was an opportunity to make a really sincerely scary horror film, but "the Damned" just doesn't hold it's weight. The movie was somewhat confusing, and overall it just wasn't scary enough. It started off a little creepy and atmospheric but that's only because the viewer is led on by gloomy surroundings and the location of the hotel they end up at. But once the "secrets" are revealed, it's pretty much all downhill. IFC has some very good films but this is one of the weaker ones. "The Squad" is a horror film that is also about witches and I totally recommend it over this movie.
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Good Movie, Stupid End...
Dejan VasiljeviÄ7 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was good, but the end was somewhat stupid. It could have been done better. Entertaining, but nothing innovative. The actors are good, and the story is good... Throughout the movie is a demon trying to get out of the house while trying to get the family members kill each other just because they are on its way of killing someone who killed it in the first place... Oh, and I LOVE the fact that the film is mostly bilingual. Another reason why I like it. One of the actress, Gina, reminds me of Nicole Scherzinger. And throughout the film there is a family solidarity, which is another plus. This can be interpreted as the fact that whatever happens in life, you can overcome everything with a concord.
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A Pretty Lackluster Horror
David Arnold13 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Damned is unfortunately one of those films that promises more in the trailers than it actually does for the full film as the whole event was quite a bit of a let down. The film as a whole isn't really THAT bad, and I've definitely seen much worse, but it is a below average horror that falls short of delivering much in the way of any decent excitement, thrills, or tension.

The story for the film has been done a thousand times before, so there's obviously nothing that original being done here (it's very rare these days to actually find a good original horror story that's not been done in some way before in all honesty), but that doesn't make the film unwatchable. It's also pretty predictable, so you're not really in for any twists or surprises, but like I say, it's not all that original so as long as you're not expecting too much then you should be OK.

The film's cast was decent as well and nothing more. If I'm being honest, however, I don't think there was really one likable character apart from maybe Peter Facinelli as luckless father David Reynolds and Juan Pablo Gamboa as the unfortunate Capitan Morales. The rest were pretty annoying more than anything, especially Reynolds' two daughters Jill & Gina.

There are other movies I've seen where the young actor playing the role of a possessed/evil child has been very good/excellent (Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist, Daveigh Chase as Samara in The Ring, and Macauley Culkin as Henry Evans in The Good Son), but Julieta Salazar as Ana Maria wasn't really all that convincing in her part, and that added to the lack of suspense for me. Factor that in with the other annoying characters then you do struggle to find any plus points for that side of the film as well.

On the whole, The Damned is watchable as I said earlier, and as long as you're not expecting much then you shouldn't be disappointed. Much.
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The very definition of predictable
reallyevilboy24 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The main problem with this movie is that before you start watching the movie you already know the whole story.

I'm going to click the spoilers button now. Though it is quite obvious.

1/ Family or group of people have an accident in a storm.

2/ Family or group seek refuge/help.

3/ Family or group discover girl captive in basement and free girl.

4/ Previously mentioned Girl is possessed and freeing her was a mistake.

Okay that's really about it. By looking at the synopsis of the movie you've basically gotten the whole thing. I really probably did not need to click the spoiler button because I only reiterated the storyline content in IMDb but in a way I did because there is nothing else.

This is the very definition of predictable. It follows all the latest horror clichés as well as offering nothing that isn't in the synopsis.
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Prepare to be annoyed!
dopus-230 July 2014
The ratings for this "horror movie" are going to be dropping really fast! This was a dreadful attempt of making a scary movie and really an insult to all fans of horror movies, even the B and C horror movies out there.

Cheap jump scares and the really bad effects just adds to the poorest decision making made by everyone involved in this project. There are simply to many annoying things to bring up here that I won't even get into them - suffice it to say that if you do decide to watch this movie - hide all sharp objects around you cause you are going to want to stab yourself repeatedly for making one of the worst decisions in your life by watching this! There is really NO redeeming qualities in this pile of "¤"!* and in NO way does it the deserve the 1 star rating I had to give! Be warned!
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a bit tame and too much CGI
trashgang11 March 2015
Released in 2013 and in the European shops in 2015, it should had to ring a bell but it didn't and I picked it up. Was it good, no therefore it wasn't scary enough and had too much of CGI but it wasn't that bad also because towards the end the horror really comes in.

I just had mixed feelings towards this flick because some things do work like the possession but it's the CGI done to make their faces creepy that didn't work for me. BUt I can say that teenagers could have their scary moments watching it but for me it was a bit too soft on that part. But somehow I kept watching it to see how it would end because the ghost moves from body to body. There isn't that much blood or even say gore to catch but for the Kleenex abusers there's a tittie to see from the prettiest chick in The Damned.

Mediocre for me but I grew up in the slasher heydays but for newcomers it is a must see.

Gore 1/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
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Cluttered and Claustrophobic…Bloody and Semi-Clever Familiarity
LeonLouisRicci12 June 2015
Extremely Claustrophobic and Bloody Demon Doings. It is one of those that the Evil Entity can leap from Body to Body. The Atmosphere is sometimes Chilling and the Gore is Prevalent while Weak Characters are put in Jeopardy in a Regular Rhythm of Gross and Disgusting Displays of Horror Movie Tropes.

But there is enough Splatter in this B-Movie to give it a Pass on the Familiar way it goes about its Story. None of the People here are Relate-able and some of Their Back Stories are so Glossed Over the Victims remain Nothing but Props.

Some Creepiness is at hand and the Movie does make for a bit of Unsettling Reaffirmation that when told that a Road is Unusable, the Horror Movie Thing to do is, well You Know. This Leads to the Clichéd Set-Up of the "Cabin in the Woods" Variety of Pent Up Spirits and many Brutal Deaths ahead.

Overall, there is Something here that makes all of its Familiarity somewhat Watchable for Horror Movie Fans. Just don't Expect Anything other than a bunch of Semi-Clever Kills with an Eat Your Own Tail Ending.
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Some secrets can destroy everything you love
Michael Ledo18 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is an old horror story recycled. David (Peter Facinelli) and his fiancee Lauren (Sophia Myles) travel to Columbia to retrieve his college girl daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos) for their wedding. His first wife is dead. Also in Columbia is the first wife's sister Gina (Carolina Guerra) and his daughter's boy friend Ramon (Sebastian Martínez).

Jill needs to get her passport for the trip which is 6-8 hours away in Medellin by bad road. Their vehicle becomes disabled as they make their way to an isolated hotel where the owner (Gustavo Angarita) is reluctant to let them in. This is where they meet Ana Maria (Julieta Salazar) the creepy looking girl on the cover. The film takes about 30 minutes to build up before the fun begins.

Other than the English subtitles, this film offers nothing new to the formula. We have seen it done with college kids at a cabin in the woods, which is always my preferred location...I'm just shallow and simple.

Parental Guidance: No English F-bomb. Not sure what was said when she dropped her cell phone. No sex. Nudity (Carolina Guerra)
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Useless if you don't speak Spanish
creative_hermit24 November 2017
Could have been OK, but as I don't speak Spanish I missed half of it. there are NO subtitles, yet they speak in Spanish half the time. VERY annoying. Why on earth they would do this is beyond me. The film seemed fairly interesting, as I tried to guess what was being said. But not worth putting up with a language you don't speak
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Tame and unscary
gvis24 October 2017
The Damned (or Gallows Hill, if you prefer) contains all the usual clichés we have seen in horror movies countless times before. Group of people get stranded during bad weather, find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, run into creepy old guy, get into trouble, horror ensues.. yadda yadda yadda....

OK, more precise: a group of guys (some American, some Colombian, two are supposedly mother and daughter, even though they look like at most 8 years different in age) are in Colombia for charity work. While on the move they are advised by a police officer to take a different road, but like usual idiots in a horror movie they decide to take the first option.

You guessed it, they end up stuck and have to find shelter in a nearby abandoned inn, run by the cliché creepy old man. While one of the ladies has to go to the bathroom she hears screaming from a young girl voice. She goes down into the basement and finds a young girl locked up. Of course, being horror movie idiots, they liberate the young girl against warnings and the party begins.

The movie starts with a short intro movie showing old pictures of witch execution, making me believe i would be a great supernatural horror movie for the October month.

Instead, it is tame, unscary, has little to no suspense and annoying characters who don't if they should speak English or Spanish the whole time. The demon girl characters totally fails to convince and never had me interested or scared.

After an hour or so, I decided my time was too valuable for this and switched it off. Simpy avoid.

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The circle of life
blumdeluxe12 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In "The Damned", a family, freshly re-united, arrives at a lonely house during a storm. When they explore the house of the seemingly odd older man a bit more, they discover a girl in a small room in the basement and set her free, not knowing that what they release is much more sinister than they could possibly imagine.

What you get here is pretty much your average demon horror movie, which is in itself not very creative. I don't know why hiding a witch in an abandoned house is worth yet another film but I guess there are genres that just won't ever die out. The acting is solid and the production looks professional, in this way you can't really complain. The demon's voice of course is so worn out that it is already more a joke in itself. The reason why I nonetheless give this film a decent rating is because I like the twist in the end where the father becomes the lonely man himself, instead.

All in all this is a basic horror movie that won't surprise you with much innovation. If you're just looking for another of those you will probably be satisfied, otherwise you could most likely find something more exciting.
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Good horror film with eerie ambiance, good cinematography n a very different take on demonic possession.
Fella_shibby27 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this on a rented DVD in 2014. I enjoyed this movie. Its a very good demonic horror flick. Víctor García (Return to house on haunted hill, mirrors 2) did a decent job. I really liked the new take on the possession. Some may compare it to Fallen or The shrine. It is a very atmospheric horror. The eerie hotel, the middle of nowhere, the rains, all added to the creepy feel. Best part is that it is not ur typical pg13 possession film. This movie has lots of brutal killings. The scariest part was that the demon is able to read people's secret past n spill out in front of others. There is plenty of eye candy faces. Decent acting. Good cinematography n screenplay. Horror fans will not b disappointed.
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Great plot, good acting. Watch it open-minded.....
bkmetsfan5 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Its a new twist to the possession sub genre, rather than a demon or something of that a nature. You get a Brujah(Spanish word for Witch) that takes possession of a body than gets moved to whoever kills or cause the possessed body's death. I have never seen this plot or i never seen this plot resemble anything close to a watchable movie. The movie starts off slow but the pace picks up and the mystery and intrigue of the plot starts to grow. I hope i do not ruin the movie for anybody, its a great watch. Acting was great in some areas, not so good in others but also was not really noticeable by me. I hope this begins more exploration into this particular sub genre. This was a great Netflix find.
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don't waste your time
robpierce-7830716 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to put into words how bad this film is. Yes, it has all of the clichés, old house, rain and thunder, creepy old guy. What really kills this film is how unlikable the characters are and how positively stupid as well. You could care less if they are killed off and when they are, you find yourself almost cheering. This, of course is when you aren't yelling at the screen. What is the first thing you should do when things get threatening? Have everyone separate! Absolutely! There is nothing redeeming about this film at all. I am a horror movie buff and this is just about the worst I have ever seen. This is so bad that I set up an account here so I could write my first review.
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Gallows Hill
Argemaluco24 December 2015
Gallows Hill has an intriguing premise with pretty much opportunities to generate horror, paranoia and suspense; unfortunately, the irregular rhythm and slips of the screenplay betray the potential of the premise, making the intervals between murders and demonic manifestations a bit frustrating. On the positive side, during those cruel moments, the blood flows freely and it's well combined with subtle special effects. On the other hand, the characters tend to make the most absurd mistakes whenever the screenplay doesn't find a logical way to continue the story. The actors make a decent work in their roles, highlighting Sophia Myles as the stepmother who tries to keep her false family united and Julieta Salazar, who is able to bring an appropriately terrifying attitude to her character. In conclusion, Gallows Hill is a mediocre but moderately entertaining horror film. I will probably erase it from my memory in a few days, but it didn't bore me, and I can give it a slight recommendation because of that.
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begob7 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I liked this to start with. It's conventional, but I think they set it up well for a ride into the depths of horror.

So that should have picked up speed right after the witch was released. There was some spooky ghosting around the house, but ... the little girl was not scary. We even had the closing the fridge door jump - if they have to resort to that then something's gone wrong.

But don't worry - there were other versions of the beast to come. And I think that's the problem: they didn't have to focus on one character, so all characters became a bit bland when it was their turn, and you never got the essence of the original beast.

Then you've got the back story, which they returned to a few times with an unnecessary complication involving the relatives of the persecutors. Then they threw in a dose of guilt from each character's life. And it all got a bit cluttered, losing focus on the original elements.

Think of the Blair witch - you get some sketchy exposition at the start, the audience fills in the details, we go to a lonely place, all the elements are in place, and bit by bit the witch simply shows what she can do, raising the stakes steadily without once appearing on screen.

The final insult was some dreadful dialogue between father and daughter as they cowered in the basement. And oh - there was another bloody twist after that too.

Keep it simple!
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