Rise of the Gargoyles (2009)

Rise of the Gargoyles
Director: Bill Corcoran
Writer: Andy Briggs, Steve Horvath
Cast: Eric Balfour, Caroline Néron, Justin Salinger, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Nick Mancuso, Tanya Clarke
Seen on: 22.12.2019

Professor Jack Randall (Eric Balfour) is in a rut. His last publication on gargoyles has been widely discredited by the scientific community and ever since, he hasn’t been able to write or publish anything. His friend Carol (Tanya Clarke) tries to get him out of the hole and brings him to a church taht is currently being renovated. There in the basement, workers have uncovered something that she hopes will make Jack excited about his work again. But as they quickly find out: the discovery is neither historical nor theoretical.

Rise of the Gargoyles is a schlockfest that, I think, was just a little too serious to achieve Sharknado-like quality. It’s not good in any sense of the word, but there is some entertainment to be had here.

The fil poster showing a street from above with a monster-shaped hole in it.

I guess, nobody will look at Rise of the Gargoyles and expect a film of excellent quality. And that is good because that really isn’t what it is at all. It doesn’t even pretend to be. But you might look at it and think that it’s absolutely craptastic and here I have to say that it isn’t that either. I’m afraid that they just didn’t lean into the silliness of it all enough to achieve that. There seems to be a last inkling of hope here that if they did it just right, the film would turn out good despite of everything.

But honestly, they didn’t really stand a chance. The premise isn’t that bad and neither are Eric Balfour and Caroline Néron (in fact, I’d go so far as to say that they are actually have good chemistry and bounce nicely off each other), but yeah, the film just lacked pretty much everything else to be good.

Caroline Néron, Eric Balfour and Justin Salinger in the film.

The CGI gargoyles were particularly bad – absolutely cringeworthy, even when I take into consideration that the film is 10 years old. When you don’t have a budget for proper SFX, maybe you should find more workarounds. Though the CGI may not have been as bad as the script, that throws together so many things in a haphazard way that nothing much makes sense anymore.

Nevertheless, it was just the right thing to watch for me while I was baking Christmas cookies – I didn’t need to pay much attention, and every once in a while there was an entertaining moment (and also Eric Balfour) to keep me interested enough to not turn it off. That’s not much of a recommendation, but at the same time, it does mean that I don’t need to condemn the film in its entirety.

Eric Balfour in the film.

Summarizing: Take it or leave it, but don’t expect much from it in any case.

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