It’s time to look at a really obscure horror film. This one’s fairly low budget and at times you’ll wonder when it’s supposed to actually get scary. Well, the good news is that while it lacks in scares, it is a fairly short film. It’s all over in a little above an hour. You won’t feel a whole lot of heart during that time and the film mainly goes through the motions, but it’s not that bad. It just needed a few scenes with a bit more of a kick to take it to the next level. This didn’t happen though so the film just puttered out in the end.
The film follows a guy named Mercer who writes books about the supernatural. He doesn’t believe any of them, but they sell very well. One day he gets a letter from a guy out in the middle of nowhere who claims to have some valuable intel for Mercer. Our confident main character doesn’t believe him, but free beer is offered so he decides to give the guy a chance. It wasn’t much of one though as Mercer basically mocks him during the entire visit and really gives the guy a hard time of it. The guy even shows Mercer a skeleton that he found, but Mercer says it’s fake. At that moment, a Gargoyle drops the house on them and the old man dies. Mercer and his daughter Diana escape and decide not to tell the cops what happened. They report the dead body, but act as if it was a natural disaster or something. The cops are one step ahead of them though and decide to pin it on a group of teenagers who are known for stealing around these parts. Can Diana save the kids from the life of a prisoner and can she escape the Gargoyles?
From the start it’s hard to really like any of the characters. Mercer comes across as a total fake who mocks what he writes about. I understand writing purely for the money, but the guy’s attitude was never great. The whole intro scene where he’s mocking this old guy was just mean and only staying for the beer was kind of petty. He’s also a little inconsiderate as he keeps on playing the tape with Diana screaming when the monster comes back. How many times does he have to play that thing? He goes through it about 5 times and never learns anything new. There’s no secret piece of the puzzle that’s suddenly going to show up there.
As for Diana, she likes taking pot shots about Mercer and implying that he let the teenagers get framed for money. As he pointed out, the cops would never believe them about Gargoyles invading the city and starting World War III so he needs proof first. They’d have a similar reaction to the skeleton. I suppose it’s good that she went to exonerate the teens, but she didn’t do a good job about it. She also didn’t do a great job of resisting the demons although I suppose there wasn’t much she could do. I think making a break for it would have helped though.
The Gargoyles make for pretty bad villains. The intro to the film talks about how they’ve been at war with humanity for centuries and lose every time. Luckily, there is always one that escapes and she hatches a bunch of others and they start all over again. Well, that’s the case here and this time they decide to lie low for a while while the eggs hatch. This plan would have worked…but they decided to burn a house down and get people interested again. The plan made no sense and they would have destroyed the world if not for this. I suppose they couldn’t help themselves as they wanted to kidnap Diana and steal a demon book, but both of these things were ultimately pointless to them. If they had waited and attacked with their army, things could have gone a little differently.
Still, this film isn’t exactly known for its masterful writing now is it? To an extent I suppose it’s to be expected that some things wouldn’t add up and this was likely not thought out a whole lot by the writers. They just needed to churn a film out ASAP. One big moment where you’ll notice this is when Mercer goes back to get reinforcements and takes his time, but still catches up to the leader by the cave. I guess they were moving in slow mo considering how long Mercer was gone. The stale mate at the end was also anticlimactic as the demon basically just yelled “I’ll be back in 100 years” and flew away. There was no final fight or anything like that, just more posturing and bewilderment from the people in the audience.
The teenagers never got likable either and the cops weren’t great either since they were quick to pin the blame without any proof. None of the cast was likable and that includes the really random owner of the motel who was flirting around and accusing the main characters of various stuff the whole time. There was no reason for her inclusion except possibly for humor (Which failed if so) or just to give us a quirky character. Films don’t need quirky characters, but it seems like they are always added anyway. The Gargoyles get a few fatalities along the way so the film had some stakes, but it still felt like this horror was just going through the motions.
Going back to plot holes or at least leaps in logic, there was another iffy scene. After Diana goes to the police station on her own and walks back, it seems like it’s a very long trek. This kind of makes sense since the heroes had to drive in a car for a while to get there. The Gargoyles then attack her while she is in the middle of nowhere and you think that hope is lost for her. Fortunately, this isn’t the case as Mercer appears and takes her back to the motel…which is only 5 steps away. Wait a moment, the place was deserted for miles a second ago and Diana was looking around as if she was lost. Did she not see the cabin? It was a scene that didn’t make any sense. The brief “fight” scene after that was interesting as the Gargoyles just broke in and messed everyone up. The suits weren’t half bad I suppose, but they don’t look as intimidating when they’re walking around like that.
Overall, There’s not much to the Gargoyles film. The enemies are fairly bland and generic while the main heroes are unlikable and not very sympathetic. The film doesn’t have a lot of direction. It’s a shame because it didn’t really make many mistakes. The film isn’t violent, there isn’t any real language, and there’s no animal violence. However, not making mistakes doesn’t make up for not getting anything right. The film still isn’t very interesting anyway and there’s no real reason to recommend it to anyone. If you want a really scary film, check out Madoka Magica: Rebellion. The ending in particular is truly frightening!