Rise of the Gargoyles
Year of Release: 2009
IMDB Rating: 3.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
A new year, another round of crappy movies. Oh, it makes my soul feel happy 🙂 First of all, let’s clear some things up about this movie. To start, the title is misleading: there is, in fact, only a single gargoyle. Secondly, the CGI wasn’t bad for this type of outing, although you don’t see the gargoyle very often so it probably explains how they could afford to do it reasonably well. Finally, Eric Balfour should stick to being in Haven. All that being said, this wasn’t a terrible movie. It was boring as hell most of the way through, but when things happened they happened quite well. All in all, a good way to ease ourselves into 2012, b-grade style!
We begin our slow adventure with Jack Randall, a university professor who’s in a bad way at the moment. He’s busy going through a divorce and nobody wants to publish his latest book. If it weren’t for the fact that his class on gargoyles was going so well and the blonde and lovely Carol is throwing herself at him relentlessly the gods alone know what he might do to himself. Carol, feeling that Jack needs to get over his depression so that he can a.) move on with his life and b.) mount her decides to take him to a church that’s busy being torn down. They have some amazing gargoyles stuck around the building and since it’s about to be demolished anyway a little breaking and entering really won’t do all that much harm. Dear, sweet Carol. If only she knew what slightly horrifying creature she and Jack are about to unleash on the world…
Perhaps ‘the world’ is a bit too broad a term. At the very least they’re gonna unleash the creature on Pseudo-France. You know it’s Pseudo-France because everyone speaks English to one another but in that put-on heavy French accent that no actual French speaker has. Anyway before you know it the monster is wreaking small-scale havoc across whatever city we might be in and Carol’s about to find herself without a head. Ripping off heads appears to be the gargoyle’s preferred method of attack. Why Carol was attacked but the gargoyle is a mystery, but it just might have something to do with the glowing things that look like overripe avocados that she stole from the church. Jack, finding out what happened to her, is understandably distraught but finding it difficult to find anyone who will believe his gargoyle story. Things aren’t helped by the fact that the local chief of police (the most Pseudo-French character in the entire movie) thinks that it’s Jack responsible for ripping the heads of random people and dragging their bodies up the side of buildings.
Good thing for Jack that the one thing you can rely on anywhere in the world is a crack-pot journalist looking for bizarre stories to uncover and expose. Nicole, who gradually loses her Pseudo-French accent as the movie goes on, and her cameraman Walsh are more than happy to lend a hand in exposing the truth behind the gargoyle that’s stalking Pseudo-France. They will be joined by a rather trigger happy Father Gable who also has some minor experience in using explosives. In the confined spaces of a labyrinthine-like church there’s no way that this can possibly go wrong. Armed with a few guns, a big UV light and a vague idea of what they’re going to do when they find the beast the four of them set off on the hunt for the gargoyle. But the gargoyle’s protecting something more than just itself, something that it’s prepared to fight to the death for…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Universities now offer entire degrees that cater to those wishing to specialise in gargoyle studies.
- It’s entirely possible to contain an ancient evil by sticking it behind a flimsy wooden door.
- Building a church on top of an old church is fairly similar to building a house on a Native American burial ground.
- Gargoyles have amazing homing techniques and can stalk prey that have wandered into their hellish lair for hundreds of miles.
- There are no religious problems with a priest killing a woman to use as bait to lure a gargoyle into a trap.
- Any unholy creature that makes its nest in a church should immediately be referred to as The Beast.
RISE OF THE GARGOYLES TRAILER
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Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Mystery
IMDB Rating: 5.7 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Again! Like the recent Vanishing on 7th Street and Plague Town, this movie was just SO close to being amazing! It has all the right elements: fundamentalist Christians, the dark arts, people who can act and Grudge-esque ghosts, but sadly these things are not used to their best effect. I think that the message it conveys is very topical: when taken to fanatical extremes religion, no matter which one it is, will result in people doing stupid, crazy shit. In that way I feel like the movie was more focussed on the aspects of the various religious nuts than on the actual horror aspect, which left me very disappointed. Never the less From Within is a very watchable movie and, given its IMDB rating, some people out there must like it. I’m not sure if I wanted the religious nuts to be even more crazy or if I wanted more horror / terror so that I would be genuinely frightened but, when all is said and done, the movie just left me wanting a little bit more.
Welcome to Grovetown, your standard little Anywhere USA. The skies are blue, the lawns meticulously mowed, the shops are quaint and the folk genuinely care for one another. It’s the kind of place you would want to raise your kids. If you wanted your kids to be white-supremacists with radical Christian beliefs that believe burning the witch is still your best possible option, that is, and that really is the bulk of the town’s population. The only one with her head screwed on right is Lindsay, a follower of the church but who believes that people should live and let live. She lives with her alcoholic and mouse of a stepmother Trish who has frequent visits from her somewhat-pervy truck driver boyfriend Roy. Lindsay also happens to be dating Dylan, the son of the town’s resident pastor who is about as extreme a religious nut as you can get. Her world becomes a little more complicated when she picks up Aidan (literally – Dylan beat him to the floor), the town’s local pagan. Understandably an outcast from the rest of Grovetown’s cliques Aidan has lived with his brother ever since the townsfolk burned their mother alive for being a witch. Burning the witch is about to come back to bite Grovetown in the ass.
Something very strange is starting to happen in Grovetown. While sitting on a hill overlooking the town one night a young emo couple reads to one another and tenderly embrace. 2 minutes later the guy blows his brain out. The girl, presumably a little shaken by this, runs back into town to her father’s dress shop (hip and happening designs in Grovetown, Amish paradise anywhere else) screaming that some woman is after her. Lindsay and Trish are also in the store and when Lindsay walks away from the girl the doors slam shut. When the group manages to open them they find the girl with scissors rammed in her neck. This is the beginning of the suicides that will stalk the town for the rest of the week. Gossip will be exchanged, accusations will be cast, witch burning brunches will be planned.
As the suicide rate in Grovetown begins to climb and frequent church meetings do little to solve the problem people are starting to get a little anxious and are looking for a solution. What they are unaware of is that their beautiful little town has been cursed. While they do know about the deaths they don’t know that they aren’t actually suicides. You see just before various young teenagers and assorted older people are killed they see something that truly horrifies them: themselves. Now this isn’t the ‘wake up, look in mirror and realise you look like crap’ kind of terrified; this is ‘I’ve just seen my evil doppelgänger and it’s coming to get me’ variety of terrified. Since the entire town’s stock answer to any problem they face is ‘burn the witch! cleanse the earth with fire!’, it falls to Lindsay and Aidan to figure out what’s happening and how best to go about sorting it out. They will face fierce opposition, attempted exorcisms, angry mobs and a deranged son of a preacher man, but the fate of Grovetown and the rest of the world now rests on both their delicately feminine shoulders.
My only question, and this crops up in more movies that you’d think: if you are ‘different’ and know you are going to be an outcast and piss dumb people off, why live in a town full of them?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can either be Christian or a witch. There is nothing in between.
- A preacher should never be allowed near a troubled man. It will only end in confusion and heartache.
- Christian men should only ever wear plaid shirts.
- Christian women should only ever dress in a way that would make the Amish feel like they are showing too much skin.
- Pagans should always be sarcastic, dark and twisty.
- Saying the voices spoke to you one day makes you clinically insane. Saying that God spoke to you one day makes you a devout Christian.
FROM WITHIN TRAILER