Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Gate (1987)

"...Pray It's Not Too Late!"

Synopsis: Glen (Stephen Dorff) and his best friend, Terry (Louis Tripp), find that a gate to hell has opened when a rotten tree is removed from the backyard of Glen's house. When his dog dies and a friend of Glen's sister, Alexandra (Christa Denton), buries the animal in the hole, demons from an ancient civilization are released, seeking two human sacrifices to dominate the world. Glen, Al and Terry, who are spending the weekend alone in the house, fight to save their lives and close the gate.

My Thoughts: They just don't make'em like they used to. That's the first thing that came to mind after revisiting 'The Gate' after so many years. It could be just the nostalgia or maybe it's the beer, but I still really enjoyed this movie.

Since this movie's a part of my childhood it's hard to be 100% objective when rating it, so take that into consideration. I admit you don't get a lot of scary moments in this one, but it's still a really fun PG-13 horror flick. It's sort of a cross between the Goonies and the Ghoulies.

The story is fairly original and the director did a great job developing the characters, while keeping up the pace of the film. The acting was decent enough, especially considering the age of the main cast. We did get a little 80's cheeziness, but that's a big part of it's charm.

I also kinda dug the 80's style special effects. One image from this movie that always stuck with me was the scene where the zombie falls face first and explodes into a dozen little demon dudes. I was waiting for it and it didn't disappoint me. It was still as awesome as I remembered. Good stuff.

My Rating: 7.5 / 10

Overall ...if you haven't seen it, go rent it. If you collect 80's horror movies (or any horror movies), then buy it.

* a side note: After making this film, the director, Tibor Takacs, was offered the job to direct 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master', but declined because he wasn't given enough time to prepare his effects. New Line went on to hire Renny Harlin in his place and then delayed shooting by several months anyway. The good news is Takacs chose 'I, Madman' for his next project ...and that movie kicks ass.

* another side note: Actor turned director Alex Winter (a.k.a. Bill S. Preston, Esq.) has been claiming for years that a 3-D remake is in the works, but nothing has come of it. There were even rumors that Stephen Dorff was gonna be back to reprise his role as (a much older) Glen.

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