Movie Review: Hangman (2015)

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Directed by Adam Mason, Hangman is a 2015 found-footage/fixed angle horror/thriller film. Jeremy Sisto stars as Aaron Miller, who along with his wife Beth (Kate Ashfield), daughter Marley (Ryan Simpkins) and son Max (Ty Simpkins) return from a vacation to find their house has been broken into. Unbeknownst to them, the intruder, the titular Hangman, never left, and is watching them on a series of cameras placed throughout the house.

+ the film uses a very slow buildup, with an emphasis placed on what might happen opposed to what does happen (until, of course, it happens). This suspense creates a tense atmosphere throughout
+ all of the acting is fine, though never really anything amazing. The real world siblings of Ryan and Ty Simpkins (the latter of which is perhaps best known as the boy from Iron Man 3) was obviously the most believable interactions
+ the fixed camera angles were enjoyable, especially the notion that what we (the audience) were seeing was what the hangman himself was watching
+ the titular Hangman is in a handful of scenes, just chilling in the background and you don’t notice until he moves. I had to rewind the film a few times and was surprised at how easily the movie made you miss his presence simply by not focusing on it
+ frankly, I was surprised this wasn’t a Collector or Saw type film; no traps and no over the top gore made for a much more suspenseful viewing

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Ever feel like you’re being watched?

– unfortunately, the happenings are somewhat bland. The entire film is basically just an extended version of the main scene from The Strangers, with even less of a payoff
– none of the characters are anything more than their basic descriptions of “adults”, “children” and “bad guy”. The Hangman himself is the basis for lots of questions, which I was sorely disappointed were left unanswered
– this is another in a long list of movies with a very unsatisfying ending

> I’ll never understand how these movie people don’t notice cameras in their houses. As small as they are, surely something in the corner of the room would not go unseen? Maybe that’s why I haven’t been murdered yet.

Should you see this film: As far as found footage (ish) films go, this was unique enough to warrant a single viewing. If you are particularly afraid of home invasion movies, this will tick your boxes, but don’t expect it to redefine the way you watch horror movies. You might want to double check your doors are locked, though.

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