The Gate (1987)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres: Creature Film, Horror, Supernatural Horror
Two young boys accidentally release a horde of nasty, pint-sized demons from a hole in a suburban backyard. What follows is a classic battle between good and evil as the two kids struggle to overcome a nightmarish hell that literally begins to take over the Earth. --IMDb
Tibor Takács Tibor Takács
Stephen Dorff Stephen Dorff
Christa Denton Christa Denton
Louis Tripp Louis Tripp
Kelly Rowan Kelly Rowan
Jennifer Irwin Jennifer Irwin
Movie Connections:
The Gate
> The Gate (1987)
> The Gate II: Trespassers (1990)

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 09, 2005
In this late eighties horror entry, we find two siblings being left home by themselves while their parents go somewhere... where they're going is never mentioned, nor is it important. Alexandra (Christa Denton) and Glen (a young Stephen Dorff) are happy with the arrangement, as Al will have the opportunity to party with her friends, and Glen can hang out with his buddy Terry (Louis Tripp). However, a small problem arises shortly after their parents take off... you see, in the beginning of the movie, a large tree in their backyard was struck by lightning, causing it to collapse to the ground. As some workers were clearing the debri out of their backyard, Glen noticed a geode laying in the hole where the tree once stood. After consulting with Terry, Glen decides to dig in the hole in an attempt to find some more of these geodes... after all, one could make up to a hundred bucks selling them. So, after the two rascals dig in the hole some more, it falls inwards and creates a much larger, much deeper hole. This brings us up to the current time frame of the movie, in which the parents have taken off and Terry has come over to visit. All sorts of weird stuff has started to occur around the house after the hole was dug in, and Terry believes it to be demons. Yep, demons... he has a record by a heavy metal band named Sacrifyx that clearly describes this scenario, and it also contains instructions for fully opening this gateway to Hell. The instructions included within the record are read, and the gate between Hell and Earth is now opened... and it doesn't take long for demons to start pouring through.

Late eighties. Horror. Sometimes, those two things go together quite nicely when watched in modern times, and sometimes they come across looking horribly dated. This movie falls - no, leaps would be a better word - into the "horribly dated" side of things. You know the type... loaded with all of those corny eighties slang terms, the clothing styles, hairstyles, and everything else that one would expect to find in a late eighties high school. Yes, this movie absolutely reeks eighties corniness, but it actually turns out to be an entertaining film if you can get past all of the goofiness. This is due in large part to the storyline, which moves along at an excellent pace and never gives you a chance to get bored or think about the gaping holes in the plot. Immediately following the opening scene, strange things start to occur throughout the house, and after a half hour or so of this, the demons make their way into our world. This definitely isn't one of those movies where all of the good stuff is shoved into the last fifteen minutes of the running time... no sir, it seems as though the director couldn't wait to throw those bad boys on screen, and this results in one hell of an entertaining film.

When I was a wee little tyke, I had one of those foot-tall Godzilla figures that you used to be able to pick up at any fine retailer. Some of the older readers may recall these... they were made out of hard plastic, hollow on the inside, and only bore a remote resemblance to the character from which they were fashioned. If you were to take one of these figures, color it dirt-gray, shorten the tail and put a horses head (with larger eyes and pointy teeth) onto it, you'd have the demons that were found in this movie. They were animated through what appeared to be a mixture of stop-motion and claymation, but they turned out looking quite realistic... none of the jerkiness that one normally associates with stop-motion was found here (well, maybe in a few scenes). Then, towards the finale of the movie, the head demon is revealed, and what a looker it was. After coming up through the basement, it stands in the middle of the two-story house, with its bottom resting in the hole and its head nearly scraping the roof of the house. The look of the demon was excellent, the animation was great, and although it doesn't get a huge amount of time, it definitely solidified itself as "the boss demon" with ease.

If you're a fan of cheesy eighties horror, this one should be at the top of your to-see list. Those looking for loads of gore and / or nudity would be well-advised to look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a fun movie, this would be one to pick up. 8/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 10/21/2005, 08:18 PM
This is another one of those films I use to love when I was younger, like "Troll" and "Ghoulies" and "Critters". I loved the idea of these little demons coming up out of this gate and some of the scenes were actually pretty well done, though the end result is a fairly hokey movie. I miss watching this one. 6/10.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 06/18/2008, 02:29 AM
The plot was weak, the effects were horrible, and the acting was atrocious. In summary, I loved it. Granted, it did take a bit to get rolling, but once it did I had a big cheesy grin plastered on my face. 7.5/10
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