Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Gate (1987)

I remembered watching this movie at my childhood-best-friend's house when I was 9 or 10. Other than that though, I didn't really remember anything else about it prior to walking into the Alamo for Terror Thursday. It's a shame too, because I probably would of grown up a lot cooler if I revisited it from time to time.

The Gate” stars a very young Stephen Dorff as Glen, a normal little boy living in suburbia who discovers a hole in his backyard that is actually the gateway to Hell. After Glen and his best friend, Terry, play a Heavy Metal record backwards, they accidentally unlock the gate and let loose a ton of little demons. With their parents out of town, Glen, his sister Al, and Terry must survive the weekend alone while the depths of Hell crawl out of the backyard.

For starters, “The Gate” is a lot of fun, but it's also a rather well-made movie. I imagine it would play just as well on a small screen in your living room by yourself as it did in a sold out theater. They simply don't make enough Horror movies nowadays that involve kids-in-peril. Too often, the potential victims in Horror movies are annoying lame-ass adults that you just want to see die. Rarely do they make the protagonists someone you can actually root for like Terry, the black-leather-jacket-wearing, back-masking-Metalhead-nerd with dead-mommy issues.

Another awesome thing about this movie is that the kids are actually smart, and have to deal with extraordinary situations in “realistic” ways. In other words, they don't have to rely on the assistance of a charming supernatural being or the use of a magical weapon (unless you count the power of Metal) to ward off the evil demons. They are also pretty realistic kids; they're resilient in the way kids tend to be (Terry deals with his Mom's death the only way he knows how), but they still frighten easily and have real childlike fears.

The scare-factor was pretty high in the film as well (especially for a PG-13 movie from 1987), and it also included quite a bit of weird-hallucinogenic-sequences that I imagine traumatized a fair amount of little kids in the 80's. By far though, the real star of this film was the stop-motion demons. I actually got shivers at times due to the uncannily life-like movements of some of the creatures.

Anyway, good 80's flick with a Metal Heart!!!

“The Gate” screened at midnight on 9/11/08 at the Alamo Ritz and was presented by Terror Thursday.


Amanda said...

I have been tryin to figure out what movie i watched as a child growin up an remember the lil kids an the lil devils but never could figure out what the name of the movie... i have been tryin to find this movie for ail over 10 years... an its killed me tryin to figure out what it was noone knew what i was talkin about lol i had even tried lookin everywhere for it an couldnt find it! i love it this is wicked movie! so now that i know what it is called i have to look for it again.. ya'll did a kicka** job!!!! ive got to get it

annie said...

I watched this movie when I was about 4 years old by myself hiding from my mom because I knew she'd say no, and for good reason. This movie scared the shit out of me!!! I had nightmares for weeks and my parents had to put my mattress on the floor so that nothing would reach out and grab me. It stayed on the floor till i was 15! LOL. I didn't watch it again till I was 19 and it's still in my top 3 horror movies ever and I'm a 27 year old horror junkie. And I never realized until today that the adorable little kid that played Glen (and did a kick ass job!!!!!) is the now FINE AS HELL Stephen Dorff!!! He was obviously born with great talent

Anonymous said...

Turns out those dudes weren't stop motion!
Check out the picture of behind the scenes recently thrown up on reddit: