When the gates of hell are opened and all that stands in the way of world domination are three young children, you know the night’s going to be a wild ride. The Gate offers exactly that, a special effects laden experience with some spooky parts. Let’s read on for the full review…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Three young children 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 three kids struggle to overcome a nightmarish hell that is literally taking over the Earth.
Here’s a classic film which you may or may not of heard of. Made in Canada and released in 1987, The Gate is a prime example of how fun 80s horror films can be. The special effects are fantastic for the budget, with the little demons being played by men in suits and shot in a forced perspective to make them appear small. They are actually pretty creepy looking. The film does have a mix of humour, but more often than not, it takes itself seriously. You’ll be surprised when a few scenes make you jump. I know one scene in particular spooked me (no spoilers, but it involves getting the shotgun).
The Gate – Behind the scenes on how the creatures were filmed.
In the acting department, all the praise needs to be given to a young Stephen Dorff, who makes his acting debut in this film playing Glen. I normally can’t stand kid actors, but Stephen Dorff did a fantastic job. In fact none of the acting was bad in this movie. Both Louis Tripp, who plays Glen’s friend Terry and Christa Denton as Glen’s sister Al (short for Alexandra) put in solid performances, but I still feel they were outshined a little by Stephen Dorff.
Glen (Stephen Dorff) and Terry (Louis Tripp)
If I had to list any negatives for this film, they would be small. I wish we had a few more scenes involving the demons and some more back story on them. Also, the movie doesn’t really go into explaining why the gate appears in the backyard and the method on how to defeat the demons and send them back, was a little wonky.
Conclusion time! The Gate is a cult classic. The acting is more than adequate for a movie of this calibre. It reminded me a little of Poltergeist and had a giant helping of 80s nostalgia. If you’re a fan of 80s special effects and stop-motion animation, you’ll love The Gate. I recommend seeking this movie out and watching it (it’s available on american Netflix). I don’t think you’ll regret it. If you do happen to watch it, or have seen it already, leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think.