Directed by Tibor Takács
Written by Michael Nankin
Starring Stephen Dorff, Christa Denton and Louis Tripp
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.
Oh, teenage date movies, how I miss you. The Gate stands out for so many reasons. You probably won’t pee your pants in terror or write an angry letter about all the Oscar Nominations this was robbed of, but this is classic 80’s horror movie. Pint-sized Stephen Dorff leads the cast of kids that comprise 99% of this flick. Starting with the opening dream sequence, The Gate remains a much-loved 80’s movie. Two dorks, Terry and Glen (Trip & Dorff), defy their parents wishes when they’re left alone with the older sister (Denton), and do much more than stay up all night waiting for nude scenes on HBO. A huge tree is removed, stump and all, from Glen’s backyard, leaving a gaping crater in its wake. The kids are drawn to it, naturally, and soon find out they’re dealing with no ordinary hole. This reminds me of my precious parent-free time I enjoyed as a teenager, except we were more about the HBO nude scenes and a little less about destroying the world in some Necronomicon style trauma.
I have no idea why I love movies starring kids, I’m sure my doctor could tell you, but The Gate still holds true to that original attraction. Dated and filled with evidence of our original MTV generation, these kids and their imaginations are quickly run through the ringer. The Forgotten Gods show up and they aren’t playing. See what heavy metal and playing records backwards will cause? Well, or geodes for that matter. Terrorized by levitation gone bad, mini-mosnters, and dead dog dreams, this trio learns the hard way to heed their parents’ warning.
Keep this in mind while you’re looking for ways to beat the summer heat. Be prepared to become acclimated to all the terror of the 80’s, purple pants not withstanding. The Gate is a charming movie, filled with likable characters, cool special effects, and some awesome tiny terrors. This is available for instant viewing on Netflix. Enjoy, kids.