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The Gate II: Trespassers (1990)

DVD Cover (Alliance Atlantis)
Movie Connections:
The Gate
> The Gate (1987)
> The Gate II: Trespassers (1990)
Creature Film, Horror, Supernatural Horror, Thriller
Tibor Takács Tibor Takács
Louis Tripp Louis Tripp
Simon Reynolds Simon Reynolds
James Villemaire James Villemaire
Pamela Adlon Pamela Adlon
Neil Munro Neil Munro

4.8 / 10 - 5 votes

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Review by Crispy
Added: July 22, 2008
The Gate has got to be one of the cheesiest horror movies I've ever seen, but that's a big part of the reason I loved it so much, and I'm far from alone in that opinion. Even so, when I popped in Gate II, I couldn't help but feel a little anxious. After all, this was released five years later, and I was afraid that Tibor Takacs had forgotten what made the last movie as memorable as it was. While I was proven wrong overall, he wasn't quite able to recreate the magic he did last time.

It's been five years since Terrence and his friend, Glen, accidentally opened up the Gate in Glen's back yard, and those five years have certainly not been a easy time for him. Glen's family has since moved away, and Terrence's broken family has gotten even worse. Still grieving over his mom's death and his dad wallowing in alcoholism, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the evil portal and the incredible power it possesses. His mind made up, he breaks into the house and begins the dark ritual to summon the demons and grant him the power to get his father's life back on track. He is interrupted, however, by three other teens who also broke into the house looking to cause some mischief. While John and Moe are content to ridicule Terrence, John's girlfriend, Liz proves herself to be extremely interested in demonology, and convinces her two friends to join Terrence in completing the ritual. Back on track, Terrence proves he knows what he's doing and successfully brings a Minion (one of our pint-sized pals running amuck last time) through the Gate. This is too much for John, so he pulls out his trusty .45 and pops a cap in its ass, which brings the supernatural shenanigans to a screeching halt. After throwing Terrence a few more insults for good measure, he storms off, dragging his friends in tow. Alone, Terrence finds the Minion's body and takes it home; of course, it's gonna take more than a gunshot to keep the diminutive demon down, and it soon finds itself alive and well in a bird cage. The next day, Terrence is shocked to find that his wish has seemingly come true. His father, once a proud airline pilot, has given up the bottle and netted a job flying for a major carrier. In fact, when Liz comes over later, they discover that they can use the Minion to grant any wish they want; but Terrence of all people should know that when you mess around with demons, you better be prepared to face the consequences.

1992 was a time when a lot of horror movies were trying their hand at CGI, but if you're going to make a sequel to a movie like The Gate, it would be more than wise to keep the same feel. Well, like alluded to above, Takacs was smart enough to keep the cheesy claymation. The early scenes with the Minion were damned funny too; the best of which had Terrence, armored in hockey pads, hunting the little critter through his room. However, the Minion just serves to segue into a new plot line about three evil Gods from Hell, and when the story switched over to that angle, it lost a lot of steam. While it's not a very complicated story, it's still not as straightforward as the last film, and since it only has half the movie devoted to it, it's a tad rushed. While a noticeable step down from last time, it's not a movie killing gripe; and to their credit, said monsters do look pretty good in all their bad prosthetics/claymation glory.

There's not a whole lot going on actor wise either. Louis Tripp has returned as Terrence. Thankfully, he spent the five year interval between movies going through puberty, and the childhood squeak of his voice has become a lot deeper. He ends up being the top performer in the cast here, which isn't exactly saying a whole lot. I wouldn't call it good, but it got the job done. Same with Pamela Segall (who incidentally would go on to voice Bobby Hill) as Liz and Simon Reynolds as Moe. And rounding out our cast was James Villemaire as John. Let's just say he was less than stellar and leave it at that.

Questionable acting and plot aside, fans of the original ought to at least give this a shot; it's got a few scenes here or there that will bring a smile to your face. Just don't expect too much, as those few scenes aren't going to earn it anywhere near the replay value or classic status that The Gate enjoys. 5.5/10.
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