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.Written by
Believe it or not, this was much better than I initially anticipated. I expected one of those God-awful, cheesy special effects, mindless eighties horror films - a decade I think was a low ebb for that genre in general. I got to see a 35mm print of The Gate and was impressed with several things. Now before I get out of control here, make no mistake, this is not a great film even in terms of the horror genre, but it is a bona-fide campy, cult favorite from the eighties with good reason. The story is ridiculous about some hole, as a result of an old tree being destroyed in a family's backyard, having demons living down deep in its bowels. A rock band that died tragically also is involved, or at least the record album on hand complete with a huge history of demonology attached. Add a couple more-than-precocious boys, a bunch of teens, looking dreadfully eighties-style, attending a party while the parents are away, and some freaky little demons and you have much of The Gate. The little demons are cute and spooky and the director Tibot Takics actually visualizes them rather nicely - particularly in an era when special effects for horror and science fiction films were quite low in terms of quality. The director was also able to create some suspense and some interesting characters with the 2 small boys in particular. Stephen Dorff and Louis Tripp play Glenn and Terry respectively and give the film some heart. There is not much to recommend as far as the remaining cast is concerned, but The Gate delivers some solid scares, some atmospheric settings and direction, and some surprisingly good special effects. Good campy fun!
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