#31DaysOfHorror: The Gate (1987)

gateTwo 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.

Once again, I’ve missed a day but now I’m back on the path again. Inspired by a recent episode of RedLetterMedia’s Re:View that covered this film, I was pretty excited to check out The Gate, and I’m happy to report that it absolutely does not disappoint.

When you think about horror films in the 1980’s it’s pretty likely that some version of a movie that looks like The Gate will jump into your mind. It’s completely full of amazing stop-motion monsters, practical effects, child actors, and all kind of goofy fun that you want in a movie where kids accidentally summon tiny demons bent on creating their own hell-on-earth. Written by Michael Nankin who gave us, no joke, Flipper and directed by a pretty prolific television director, Tibor Takacs who’s credits include Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Outer Limits; The Gate is a fun movie that manages to get very watchable performances out of its child actors.

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Speaking of, the movie stars a very young Stephen Dorff (Blade), Christa Denton (8 Million Ways to Die), and Louis Tripp who appeared in the sequel as well. You’ve also got a young Kelly Rowan who grew up to be the mom on The OC, but in this particular film has some of the most hilarious ’80s hair I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Great cast aside, the movie just works. It’s a pretty quick and well paced movie, that probably could have done with a bit more of the pygmy demons. That said, the stop motion is hilarious, and the little monsters are fun to watch and surprisingly well done all things considered. The end of the movie also features a giant version of the tiny demons that reminds me a bit of Beetlejuice or even Dead Alive.

I also appreciate that there isn’t a whole lot of time spent setting up and convincing each character of the lore, characters are pretty ready to accept what is happening and this helps move the story along at a great pace. As well, the dog does die in this movie but of old age rather than some kind of huge gross-out kill which I never appreciate.

Like I said, there’s really not much to say about The Gate. It’s a simple story, with fun characters, and classic stop-motion demons creatures. There’s something so endearing and charming about these practical effects and just based on that I recommend checking this movie out.

MY RATING: ****

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