The Gate

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Horror

This surprisingly effective low-budget effort from Canada plays on universal childhood fears, and manages to be scary without resorting to scenes of sadism or graphic bloodletting. Instead, the film relies on its likable cast of young actors and some truly imaginative special effects. Set in a Spielbergian suburb, the film centers on young Glen (Stephen...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Rating:

This surprisingly effective low-budget effort from Canada plays on universal childhood fears, and manages to be scary without resorting to scenes of sadism or graphic bloodletting. Instead, the film relies on its likable cast of young actors and some truly imaginative special effects. Set

in a Spielbergian suburb, the film centers on young Glen (Stephen Dorff) and his older sister, Al (Christa Denton), who, for the first time, have been left in charge of the house while their parents go away for the weekend. After Al goes off to the mall with a friend, the bored Glen and his

bespectacled buddy, Terry (Louis Tripp), investigate a hole in the backyard that was left behind when workmen uprooted an old tree. As it turns out, the hole is really a gate to hell--through which, if a sacrifice is made, demons will burst and attempt to take over the upper world. When the body

of Glen's dog--which has died mysteriously--is inadvertently dumped into the hole, the "sacrifice" unleashes dozens of one-foot-tall mischievous minions from below who wreak havoc on the house in preparation for the coming of the Demon Lord. Despite all its dealings with the denizens of hell and

the occult, THE GATE is a remarkably amiable horror movie. The message here is that love is stronger than hate, and in the end no one really dies. While hard-core horror addicts may find THE GATE rather wimpy, the film makes for a refreshing change from the ultrableak, cynical, humorless, and

irredeemably sadistic films in the genre. Director Tibor Takacs spends plenty of time developing his characters, showing them as likable human beings who elicit viewer sympathy and support. Even more impressive is the grab-bag of superior special effects that were created quickly on a relatively

small budget ($6 million). Although the matte work and stop-motion animation are superior, the most impressive effect is the flawless use of forced perspective in the scenes involving the minions.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: This surprisingly effective low-budget effort from Canada plays on universal childhood fears, and manages to be scary without resorting to scenes of sadism or graphic bloodletting. Instead, the film relies on its likable cast of young actors and some truly… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »