When his wife and kids are tragically murdered by local racists, Bob Collins decides that God doesn’t care about him anymore and gives up on his faith. His brother and family continue to try to get through to him, but all to no avail. Jake Knight was there the night of the murders and feels guilty about the part he played, even though the corrupt sheriff has pardoned them all. All of their lives must intersect as they come to grips with the harsh realities of life—and the power of forgiveness and redemption.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
With a modest budget behind it, Gallows Road definitely demonstrated effort in production. The video quality is good throughout and the camera work is above average. Audio quality is fairly good and the soundtrack is interesting enough. Sets and locations are slightly limited and there are some inconsistencies throughout. As with most independent productions, the biggest problem relates to the lack of editing. The plot meanders too much with no direction. Scenes are disjointed and appear to be unrelated to each other. This will be discussed in depth next. Basically, the tools are here to make this a great production, but they are not used, thus causing it to be stuck at average.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
In an endeavor to be too big of a plot, Gallows Road falls flat. As previously mentioned, there are too many subplots that have very loose connections to each other. There’s actually nothing inherently wrong with the subplots themselves, but they need to be synthesized and fleshed out better than they are. There are actually quite a few profound ideas hidden among this frustrating plotline, but they easily get lost. The characters of these subplots are intriguing, but we hardly have a chance to get to know any of them as the story skips around so much. The premise seems a little bit thin at times and needs to be bigger and bolder. The message of Gallows Road is actually quite powerful, presenting important issues such as broken families, bitterness, racism, and addiction. Yet these themes needed better packaging in order to drive their point home. The ending is slightly interesting, but again, it needed more thought put into it. To sum things up, Gallows Road is sitting on a gold mine of content that failed to be mined. Some parts are enjoyable, while the rest of them are extremely frustrating.
Acting Quality (2 points)
Despite having the creepiest cast member of all Christian film, the acting of Gallows Road is the strongest part of the film. A few other cast members definitely need to be replaced, but otherwise, there is a lot of positive here. Emotions are mostly believable and line delivery is effective. Costuming is culturally appropriate. In short, this is a great acting performance that should be common place in Christian film.
The trailer for Gallows Road is ten times better than the film. It also paints a deceiving picture of what the plot is actually about. Nonetheless, it had the potential to become a major small town epic by tackling local racism, prejudice, and addiction at the gritty level. But alas, it became another film that fell short of its full potential. It seems like this idea should have been put on hold if the resources were not available to make it as big as it should have been. The subplots need expanding and synthesizing and the overall feel of the movie needs to be more epic. If there’s such a thing as Christian movie remakes, please remake this one.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points