Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rise of the Gargoyles (2009)

You thought stealing from a leprechaun was bad

In Paris, a young professor and failed author named Jack Randall goes to an old church at the recommendation of a friend named Carol to check out the architecture before it's to be torn down. They sneak in at night and spot some strange anomalies that are far more ancient than expected. They're chased out by something in the shadows--that was just awakened by two greedy construction workers prior--but not before Carol innocently takes some souvenirs. Out to eat, a person is dropped from above on their car. Then later that night Carol is killed with Jack being the primary suspect with flying creatures from the church out of the question to the skeptical inspector looking into the strange case. As more bodies start to pile up Jack gets the attention of a sensationalist reporter with video evidence and they--including her cameraman and the steadfast priest of the church--make an attempt to put a stop to the creature since no one else believes them.

"Rise of the Gargoyles" feels like the porno of horror films, of course, without the nudity but the rushed feeling and that everything is thrown together to get right to the meat of it (no pun intended) and move on. The film doesn't feel very measured out: awkwardly misaligned camera angles, inconsistent sound, over lit settings, stock music. It's as if they didn't even story board some shots and just winged it half of the time. The physical effects are shoddy and thrown together to say the least. This had two blatant dummy looking bodies limply thrown after they were killed in the beginning. If you've ever seen old episodes of "Married with Children" and how people's stand ins were chucked for comic effect, then this might come with unintentional laughs than incurring any shred of shock value. The revelations of where this is leading about a dangerous creature quickly gaining strength to threaten humans isn't anything new that hasn't been seen before. That might be fine but on top of that the driving point of doing what's right to save the day despite being accused and not treated fairly by others also felt tired and formulaic from being slapped together. A share of it feels lazy and half-hearted: what was the point?

With the exception of Ifan Huw Dafydd playing the inspector--who went well over the mark, as he must have thought he was going to be in the next "Pink Panther" with his over-the-top accent--I feel bad for the performers since a share of the faults were done behind the camera and in the story. They actually try and attempt to inject some personality into it but it's nowhere near enough to save the entirety. This was a weak attempt and I can't say to waste time with it when there's plenty of "Gargoyles" the animated series episodes to mine through, even if it's a repeat.

Rating: 2/10

Director: Bill Corcoran (21 Jump Street, Mutant X, Falcoln Beach)
Stars: Eric Balfour, Caroline Neron, Tanya Clarke, Ifan Huw Dafydd
Link: IMDB

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