The Gate


The Gate is an American Horror film released in 1987 that has actually held up surprisingly well I have to say. Even if the acting I find to be a bit to campy at times and also being set in the 80s doesn’t help much either. What does is the solid script and the well done effects for the last third of the film.

The Gate follows Glen (played by Stephen Dorff) who along with friend Terry (played by Louis Tripp) find a geode after a tree falls in Glens backyard. While digging out the geode Glen cuts his hand on a sliver of wood. Later inside Glen and Terry manage to break open the geode. Upon its opening the geode flashes with light and leaves words written on a pad near by. So of course they two make the sane decision of reading the writing aloud. Later Glens parents leave for the weekend placing Glens sister Al (played by Christa Denton) in charge. In classic 80s fashion she throws a party during which they levitate Glen. Glen freaks out so Al has everyone leave to calm him down. Later that night Terry has a dream where he sees his dead mother when he awakes hes holding a Glens dead dog instead. Glen and Terry learn that through a combination of happenstance they accidentally started a ritual to summon the old gods aka demons back to earth. The demons manage to influence the world and characters to get them to complete the ritual forcing Glen to fight the demons to not just save Al and Terry. But to save the whole world.

I like this movie a lot. Its one of the films I remember watching as a kid and a few scenes really stuck with me over the years. The Gate is one of the movies that I would rent when I got the money to rent a bunch of old releases for a movie packed weekend as a child. Back then I was more of an action adventure kind of kid. But every now and then I would gather my courage and pick out one or to horror movies to spice up the selection.

My favorite part of the film is when Glen stabs out the evil eye that has grown in his hand. Its that shot in particular that’s stuck with me for years. Its the main thing I think of when ever I see this movie on the self or its brought up in conversation.  That scene freaked me out as a kid and it still kind of does to this day.

But if you’re planning on watching The Gate be warned its cast is near completely stereotypes. Its not the well developed interesting characters that this movie feeds. The Gate is that kind of sweet campy goodness that will rot your teeth.

Another issue I have is that The Gate is unrelenting slow for the first two thirds of its run time. But the last portion of this film is what makes it shine like the grime covered gem that it is. Its just the road to that promised land of entertainment is a very long one full of useless side characters. Also each and every one of those useless side characters will speak only in 80s lingo and catch phrases.

At the end of the day The Gate as magnificent of a film as it is, is still heavily flawed. The acting is campy the pacing is slow and the plot is predictable. If you get past these little things and you have fondness for great special effects for a low budget film and some amazing stop motion work. Then you’ll walk away with a very enjoyable experience. The Gate gets 7/10.


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