Cast and crew of 'The Gallows' discuss truly terrifying film

Jesus Figueroa
Cast and crew of "The Gallows" at the press conference in the auditorium at Hollywood High School.
Written by Jesus Figueroa

Frights and unexpected twist make "The Gallows" one of the most terrifying films of the year, so far.

A story with minimal gore, well timed scares and believable acting, "The Gallows" uses the familiarity of high school to give a different spin on the haunted house movie.

"We had limited resources," writer and co-director Chris Lofing said. "We came down to Hollywood to cast our four main characters. We saw more than 200 people in two days and we were really liking for people who could relate to the characters right off the bat."

The right cast makes for the right feel to the movie.

Ryan Shoos, left, Cassidy Gifford,
Chris Lofing and Traffis Cluff at the
press conference for "The Gallows."
The added reality to the found footage type film comes from how the cast interacts.

"Let's keep in mind that we started filming this four years ago," actor Ryan Shoos said. "We were so much more immature than now, I'm not that mature now."

The cast was able to grow up with their roles.

Through the shooting process they were able to grow their friendship.

Although the roles were different they all were able to connect with each other.

"Fear is fear when it comes to human nature," actress Cassidy Gifford said. "We all started off as completely different characters. Ultimately we are all facing the same thing. What brought us together is that it's human nature to be terrified."

Travis Cluff and Pfizer Brown at "The
Gallows" press conference.
The fictional characters were so well portrayed that it seemed that the actors were the characters, but even as the actors weren't the same as their characters they did share characteristics.

"I can relate to my character because I'm passionate about acting," actress Pfiefer Brown said.

When it came to distributing the film, it was as much of a mission to figure out where to take it as it was how to shoot it with the limited budget.

"I was first looking at (the footage) as a producer and thought this was incredible," producer Dean Schnider said.

They realized they had something special and took it to who they thought of as the king of horror movies now Jason Blum for a test screening.

"We all wanted it to be PG-13," Cluff said. "There's no gore, there's no nudity and no violence. Truly we were surprised and thrilled to get the R (rating) for really being too terrifying."

The crew behind "The Gallows" worked hard to get such a well made film made.

The young writer-director wanted the story to be relatable. There was no better place to make the film than a high school.

Ryan Shoos, Cassidy Gifford and Chris
Lofing at "The Gallows" press conference.
They each took their place in the film to make it the best film possible.

"I was just interested in being a director and I went to film school at the New York film academy, here in LA," Lofing said. "During film school, my thesis film, I filmed in Fresno because I didn't have any money and through that I met Travis (Cluff)."

Cluff performed stunts for Lofing's film and the two continued on as friends and eventually started Tremendum Pictures.

To get the reactions they wanted, the directors would not reveal what each scene would lead to.

The actors were as surprised to find out how the scene ended as the viewers will.

"Ultimately, every reaction that you see on camera or experienced was (genuine)," Cluff said. "We really did get that sense of dread and terror."

Actors Reese Mishler and Brown both experienced a moment of dread together when during a scene they both saw a weird occurrence while in an attic.

They quickly finished the scene and left the area as quickly as they could.

The day of shooting ended after that.

"The Gallows" opens in theaters July 10.

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